(urth) The face of Pas

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 08:28:54 PDT 2010

>     Roy - 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
>     Ouen.

Even people strongly disinclined to "clone-theories" have recognized 
strong associations between Silk and Typhon/Pas. I suspect Wolfe --who 
left far more subtle narrative details inexplicit-- considered such a 
reference to be too "on the nose".

> D. Tallman- We ought to look at resemblances people really notice in 
> the books and see what explanations are possible. 1) Silk mistakes his 
> astral-travelling older self for Patera Pike.  This was in bad light 
> and just a glimpse of the lower part of his face.

I now believe that the real Patera Pike could not have been the 
astral-traveling Rajan. Too many references to Pike as a young man. 
Since I consider the "mistaken identity" explanation unacceptable in a 
Wolfe novel, clones are the only explanation I can think of. If anyone 
can think of another reason Silk would mistake the Rajan for Pike, I'm 
open for business.

> 2) Severian mistakes the astral-travelling Silk for Master Malrubius. 
> This is more troubling because Sev got a longer look and he has a 
> near-photographic memory.

Don Doggett had a very wide-ranging clone theory that involved even 
Severian himself being a clone of one of the sons of Typhon. Obviously, 
with Time travel on the table in the Book and Urth of the New Sun, there 
are other explanations available. But clones should not be dispensed in 
this case for merely philosophical preferences.

Sev _does_ make blatant errors in memory where he should not. But I 
doubt that is the issue here.

> The Severian that Silk meets is probably an early iteration, maybe 
> even Sev1. He keeps his dog longer, and he has a relationship with 
> Merryn and probably not with Thecla. It seems like he draws 
> inspiration from the goodness of Silk, and maybe that "ghost" incident 
> drove him out of the Guild and to the north to become Autarch for the 
> first time. The aquastor who helps him in later iterations is probably 
> drawn more from Silk than from the old Malrubius.

Minor errors in timelines are notorious as errors authors make in 
sequels. I would prefer that-- since otherwise divining what is going on 
becomes even more daunting.

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