(urth) Severians Later Appearance (Spoilers)

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 10:53:35 PST 2010

> You mean to say that Silk/Horn was the father of the woman he loved and
> married? Not to mention the horrific bad parenting of sex-changing his son
> Hyacinthus and
> selling him to someone for a career advancement.
> This is too squicky for me to contemplate, especially from the
> enlightened/good Silk.

1) I don't equate the Rajan with Silk. Silk died. He slashed his wrists in front
of Hyacinth's coffin. What's left of Silk is his body and his memory.
For Horn, all that's left is the memory of his memories.
The Rajan is in love with Seawrack, not Hyacinth.

2) I mean to say that the Rajan uses terms like "father", "daughter",
etc. very loosely.
He referred to Jahlee as his sister and daughter.
He told Hide (or Hoof, can't remember now) that Jahlee was his sister or aunt.

Although I once postulated years ago on my first read that Hy might be
a male chem,
I have happily rejected even the possibility of that since then.
It is true that Marc Aramini has postulated that Hy might be male, but
I don't think so.
There's very good reasons to draw those conclusions but there are
better explanations,
I think.

Everything we think we know about Hy's chidhood comes from Chenille, who seems
to know more than she lets on but I don't think she knows everything.

Let me offer an analogy. Remember when the Rajan and Jahlee and Hide (or Hoof)
travelled to Urth, and Jahlee --an inhuma in her dream-travel, fully
human body--
began wantonly coming on to the guard at the Torturer's keep? What do
you suppose
was the attitude of that guard to the Rajan? Whom he must have
supposed was her father
or at least her protector? Probably not so great. But he wasn't really
her father in the way
the guard thought and frankly there wasn't much to be done to control
her anyway.

Chenille says Hy came to work for a commissioner to keep his kids
("eight or nine sprats I guess"). She sums things up with "and you know what
happened then-she didn't have to work much".
Even Chenille doesn't claim her father sold her as a prostitute.
That's merely a conclusion
the reader tends to draw.
We don't know that it was "her father's" choice for her to take that
job, and what
the job turned into might as well have been all Hy's doing,

Strip out what we *think* Chenille is implying and what do we have?
* Hy took a job.
* The commissioner gave her "father" a job.
Now imagine all the ways that scenario could be reinterpreted.
We're left with an insufficiently attentive father. But if her father
was the Rajan, then he almost
certainly wasn't her "real" father,and the Rajan doesn't force anyone
to do anything. He just advises.


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