(urth) The eyes of a clone

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 3 16:29:16 PDT 2005

(Tony and Thassocrat, please avert your eyes.)

     "When the last calde's will was read, it said, 'Though he is not the
son of my body, my son will succeed me.' What do you make of that?"
     Silk stroked his cheek. "It didn't name this son?"
     "No. I've given you the entire clause."
~ Epiphany of the LS, pg 125

In his original post for this thread, Roy laid out Silk's meeting with his
parents. Ultimately, he asserted essentially that:
**Typhon, or at least Silk's bio-dad, had blue eyes and Horn had dark eyes
(like Chenille) so therefore Horn is not a clone of Typhon, or at least not
a clone of Silk's bio-dad.**

However, Roy, I think you moved off-track rather early in your argument.
Specifically in the first paragraph when you said the following:

>This blue-eyed man is presumed to be Silk's biological
>father. Fourth was the reticent woman who is not described and who is his
>presumptive biological mother. With this much there is little, if any,
>dispute that I am aware of.

Actually, this *is* quite disputable. Let's take a look at the actual
reference. As is so frequently the case with Wolfe's writing and
conversation, just when you think he is being totally objective and
straightforward, you find he has deliberately smudged everything:
     The Trivigante airship was a brown beetle, infinitely remote, the
Aureate Path so near he knew it could not be his final destination.
     He lighted upon it, and found it a road of tinsel down a whorl no
bigger than an egg. Where were the lowing beasts? The spirits of the other
dead? There! Two men and two women. He blinked and stared and blinked again.
     "Oh, Silk! My son! Oh, son!" She was in his arms and he in hers,
melting in tears of joy. "Mother!" "Silk, my son!"
     The whorl was filth and stink, futility and betrayal; this was
everything--joy and love, freedom and purity.
     "You must go back, Silk. He sends us to tell you."
     "You must, my lad." A man's voice, the voice of which Lemur's had been
a species of mockery. Looking up he saw the carved brown face from his
mother's closet.
     "We're your parents." He was tall and blue-eyed, "Your fathers and your
The other woman did not speak, but her eyes spoke truth.
     "You were my mother," he said. "I understand." He looked down at his
own beautiful mother. "You will always be my  Mother . Always!"
     "We'll be waiting, Silk my son. All of us. Remember."

a) Only one man (it seems) speaks. He has "the carved brown face from
[Silk's ] mother's closet." He is also tall and blue-eyed. And...here is
something bizarre kicker...he has a voice calling to mind LEMUR's.
Rather than it being the other *woman* who is not described as Roy
stated, it is actually one of the *men* who is not described. At least for
the other woman, we know Silk identifies her as his mother, by her eyes
("her eyes spoke truth").

And this is important, we actually have no confirmation whether the man with
the "carved brown face" is Tussah or the other father. We presume it is
Tussah...probably it is, but what if it made no difference? The only thing,
I contend, that we know about this silent man is that Wolfe has said
extratextually that Silk's *ancestry* is that he is the son of the Calde and
his mistress. If you believe -- and I have no real doubt that this is so -- 
that Silk's bio-mom is the original Kypris, that really only leaves Typhon.

b) Why does the voice of the father who speaks seem reminiscent of Lemur's?
I won't even speculate, beyond noting that Lemur's brother Loris had "blue
eyes..like chips of ice". (Epiphany of the LS pg 287) But then again, that
was an artificial body. Does his having blue eyes prove anything in
particular? Not based on that alone.

c) But why do readers keep assuming that the man with the "carved brown
face" and the man with the blue eyes are different? Because we instinctively
know that that doesn't fit. Eye-color is dependant on the amount of melanin
you have. The more melanine, the darker your eyes. A brown faced man with
blue eyes is...unnatural.

Yes, Typhon has blond hair. Silk has reddish blonde hair (as exemplified by
his beard-color). Chenille has "dark" hair, but she dyes it red. Red hair is
a telling symbol....it identifies a "Typhonian" (technically, a vampire, but
you get my drift). But in Chenille's case it also is a reminder that unless
you've seen someone naked, you don't know if he/she is a real blonde or
red-head. And Chenille has dark eyes, as Roy noted. So does the implication
that Tussah had *blue* eyes mean she is not his "natural daughter." Nope.
But it *is* contrary to what one would expect (more so in my case but I
won't get into that). Nor can one know whether, even if Severian had
reported that Typhon had blue eyes, that Typhon was born with that eye
color. However, based on Roy's post, I made my first determined search for
such a reference and I didn't *find* any evidence that Severian noted such a

At this point, it would be reasonable for me to tie all this up and show how
it is easily incorporates into my claim that Tussah and Horn are clones of
Typhon.  I can't. I arrived at that conviction based on other clues. But,
Roy, you have offered no clear explanation of the meaning of this scene
either: neither it's details nor the reasons for it's ambiguities. We've
been here before, as I recall...in which you offered a puzzle that seems to
make no definite sense no matter what one believes, and claimed it "proved"
I'm wrong. It doesn't in this case either. It only proves that the actual
situation has more complexities than my argument attempts to envelope.

I *can* say is that I'm dubious of how much can be made of issues like the
color of eyes for these "souls", as I explained in my last series of posts.
There is good reason to believe that the way souls appear in the Whorl
segment is probably the way they *thought* of themselves rather than what
is evident in their DNA. Tussah's blue eyes bother me. And Silk's blue eyes
bother me. It ought to bother anyone who thinks about it.


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