(urth) The face of Pas

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Sun Sep 12 19:09:15 PDT 2010

Dave Tallman wrote:
> Do we know for sure that the spirits he saw were manifested by the
> Mainframe? One of them says, "You must go back, Silk. He sends us to
> tell you." If "He" is the Outsider, there are no restrictions on who
> could be manifested based on where they resided or died.

I agree. And Silk did think it was the Outsider who had brought him back.
"You returned me to life, Outsider," (Calde, chap. 9, 331). The thing is,
this clone stuff in LS/SS is something I have been fighting against for
years, in long and ugly battles that gained notoriety here as the Clone
Wars. Even the particulars of who said what in that scene has been disputed
in furtherance of certain viewpoints. I don't want to re-hash all that, but
it has been argued that Silk's vision was of Mainframe heaven, and the text
does say that he saw the Aureate Path and lighted upon it just before he saw
the four people. Of course he found the Aureate Path to be underwhelming,
but he had been conditioned all his life to think of the afterlife in those

In other words, this topic has deep roots that I have to contend with that
underlie my arguments.

>They could be
> Typhon's parent's, if Silk is a clone. Or they could be Typhon and
> Mamelta, if he's a biological son.

Mamelta? I don't think Mamelta was Typhon's mistress back on Urth, the
analogue woman who became the digital Kypris, so to speak, if that's what
you mean. Anyway, Silk had seen Mamelta in the flesh and should have
recognized her in his vision of his biological mother; I can't see that he

> (Hopefully not Typhon and Kypris,
> because that would be a bit incestuous -- Kypris' promise of "We'd be
> together then" doesn't sound entirely platonic. Indeed, in RttW,
> Silkhorn doubts that Silversilk in Pig would have bothered looking for
> the ghost of Hyacinth as long as he had Kypris instead.)

I'm glad you said that. <g>

> I don't find the argument of Mint's non-reaction totally convincing.
> The commanding expression, the enhancement of godly images in a
> theophany, and the many representations of Pas in art and sculpture
> could have accustomed Mint to a face like Silk's without any
> confusion.

Could be. But I think it a little odd that no one in seven books ever
suggests that Silk, even at the age of forty-three, looks anything like the
Pas of art or theophany, and Mint saw him at that age. In the case of
Severian, an innkeeper pointed out to him how much he looked like an older

> The image Kypris shows Silk of what it would be like to be
> an aspect of Pas is more convincing, as long as it wasn't Piaton's
> head that was replaced. But I'm tempted to think it was Piaton's.

I also think it was probably Piaton's head she had replaced with Silk's.
Even so, since Kypris was trying to connect Silk with Pas, if she showed him
their two heads and he recognized only one of them as his own, it is easier
for me to believe that was because the Pas head didn't really look like
Silk. Typhon's obsession with his own face suggests that his Pas image
would have been the same as it had been when scanned, as the fact that
Piaton's idiot head remained part of the digitized image of Pas reinforces.

> The
> Outsider has taken over Pas. He wouldn't yield the driver's seat to
> Silk.

I agree that the Outsider wanted the Plan of Pas to be executed. But I don't
think he was pulling Pas' strings.


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