(urth) The face of Pas

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 10:37:25 PDT 2010

  On 9/14/2010 11:57 AM, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> Dave Tallman wrote:
>   >  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.
> I don't accept the premise. Wolfe, in that List questionnaire, said that
> Pike on the stairs of the manse was a ghost. I see no reason to doubt him.

Me either. Here's the text:

4. /Was what Silk saw in the manteion Pike's ghost, or an aquastor, or 
-- It was seen in the manse, not the manteion; it wasn't machine made.

27. /Is Pike's ghost really Quetzal?/
-- No.

I believe in an interview, he was asked if Pike's ghost were a "real 
ghost" and Wolfe replied that he was a "real ghost".

The Rajan is not machine made. In fact, he is a genuine ghost in that he 
is a disembodied spirit of someone who has died -- Horn and Silk.

But the figure of "Pike" vanishing in a "silver mist" simply does not 
imply a "gothic" ghost.

Remember that when Wolfe was answering these questions no one had yet 
read "The Book of the Short Sun". Thumb through those volumes and note 
how many references you get to ghosts. The Rajan twice (at least) denies 
to Severian that he is a ghost. He also denies that he the spirit of a 
dead man. But we, the readers, know that denial is ironic. He has died 
twice...three times if you count the time Silk died in the pit. His 
spirit is out of his body. The only sense that Severian is wrong is in 
that he thinks they are ghosts like Catherine Earnshaw in "Wuthering 
Heights". Silk does seem to sort of encounter those types of ghosts in 
his dreams. Pikes ghost is just obviously a different sort.

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