(urth) Some Pirate Freedom thoughts and questions

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Tue Jan 1 03:58:42 PST 2008

On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 16:45:31 +1100 Matthew Keeley 
<matthew.keeley.1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>I know I'm reviving an old thread here, but it seemed more 
>sensible than
>starting a new one. I've just finished PF, and while I really 
>liked it, the
>Urth list has once again reminded me of how much I miss in Wolfe. 
>So as to
>avoid spoilers, I haven't read this list since PF's release, and 
>I've missed
>A few quick thoughts: Does Chris ever explain why he becomes a 
>priest? It's
>not like he needs it for his disguise as Ignacio, a lay brother.

I think we find this out right at the end. After he came back from 
the 17th century, "this and that happened", and he almost landed in 
jail a couple of times. Then he entered the seminary. Seems pretty 
clear that he did it to escape the heat & probably also to launder 
an identity for himself. 

Th elaundering worked, presumably - he gets a passport.

>Also, when does he realize that he is Ignacio? I don't suppose he 
>ever has a
>mirror to look in while he's a pirate? Also, how does Chris' face 
>get so
>"beat up?" I don't recall Chris receiving any terrible blows to 
>the head in
>the course of his pirate adventuring, though he certainly gets 
>beaten up
>several times. Perhaps we should attribute Chris' face to the 
>"weathering" effect of his pirate life, though I'm not sure if he 
>enough time in the past for such a process to occur.

I figured most of the beating up happened right at the beginning, 
when he resisted being raped. Eg: The girls in Veracruz offered to 
straighten his nsoe for him afterwards.

>thalassocrat wrote:
>> If you buy into a negative connotation for "Jesuitical", it's 
>> surprising that Loyola is one of his favorite saints.
>Something very similar came into my mind when I finished PF 
>tonight - Chris
>is wonderfully good at bending logic. Perhaps he justifies his
>non-intervention in the life of his younger self by arguing that 
>doing so
>would be a form of suicide by time paradox? Could Ignacio make 
>himself cease
>to exist by stopping Chris from going back in time? Chris does, 
>after all,
>very explicitly state that no one has the right to suicide.
>And of course, "Ignacio" is the Spanish version of Ignatius... 
>Chris clearly
>put some thought into his pseudonym.

Check the wall of casuistry he builds when he's talking about his 
murder of <wossisname - don't have the book here>. The Spanish 
would have killed him anyway; he might have died in the fighting; 
Chris just *had* to kill him - all the way to the final self-
damning conclusion, where he blames God for it.
>thalassocrat wrote:
>Look how quickly his squeamishness disappears.
>> Recall his little walk with father Phil. Phil says he always 
>> like cheering when he sees the church steeple rising against the
>> sky; Chris had the same feeling once - when they raised the 
>> flag on the Castillo Blanco.
>I agree, but surely it says something for Chris that he believes 
>he should
>feel that way? For once he seems cognizant of his own faults.
>Another thought: Why doesn't Chris tell us exactly when his pirate 

>were? All he says is that the numbers on the charts "didn't start 
>twenty." We get a few more hints, as when the exploits of, say, 
>Morgan, etc. are mentioned as taking place approximately x years 
>in the
>past, but I doubt we'll be able to find an exact date.

Check an earlier post of mine on chronology - I think you can 
narrow down the date to around 1675.
>What becomes of Chris' son? Are there any historical pirates with 
>long and
>difficult-to-pronounce Italian / Sicilian names? I wonder if 
>Chris' son
>follows his father into the family business. There's not much to 
>that this would break Chris' heart.

Earlier I very tentatively speculated that Chris might be his own 

More information about the Urth mailing list