(urth) Babbiehorn?: Was: a sincere question mostly for roy

Marc Aramini marcaramini at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 17 07:18:23 PST 2011

--- On Thu, 11/17/11, David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net> wrote:

> From: David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net>
> Subject: Re: (urth) Babbiehorn?: Was: a sincere question mostly for roy
> To: "The Urth Mailing List" <urth at lists.urth.net>
> Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 7:10 AM
> On 11/17/2011 9:43 AM, James Wynn
> wrote:
> > 
> >>> James Wynn wrote:
> >>> No. I don't agree with Marc's explanation that
> Horn's spirit fled wholesale into Babbie. I think it is
> certain that Babbie has some Silk in him at the time we see
> him wearing glasses. He surely has some Horn in him much of
> the time. He's a psychic creature. It might be that the
> confabulation of identities between the Rajan-Narrator and
> Babbie would not be possible if the Rajan were not a
> Neighbor. It is very reasonable that Horn's identity has
> been absorbed into Babbie the way Rose's was absorbed by her
> prosthetic hands. It might not have been possible though if
> it were not for the time that Neighbor-Horn and Babbie spent
> together. After Horn died on Green, Babbie might represent
> the most genuine presence of Horn in the whole rest of the
> story.
> >>> 
> >>> Honestly, I think Horn's soul left when he
> died in the pit. His body and mind were lost on Green. All
> that is left of Horn (except what is in Babbie) is his
> mission that the Rajan is devoted to completing and what the
> Rajan remembers from his memories. And as I have said: If
> the Neighbors have perfect memories, that is enough.
> >> 
> >> David Stockhoff wrote:
> >> The problem there, I'm sure you will agree, then
> is what to do with the end of OBW. There must be enough left
> of Horn's mind in the Rajan to die. 
> > 
> > Horn died in the pit. That is when his spirit
> abandoned his body and went the Outsider. That is why the
> Rajan, at the end of RttW says that he "killed" Hoof &
> Hide's father. The Rajan was that greenbuck Horn was chasing
> when he fell into the pit. The Neighbors that have survived
> have developed a high sensitivity to preying on others. That
> is how they survived. No sentient inhumi will prey on them
> because their children would starve.
> Ah. I remember the greenbuck theory and I agree with the
> Neighbor as Rajan---that all makes sense. But I didn't think
> about exactly how the Neighbors have morally evolved. So
> that explains why they will kill inhumi, as they told ...
> Horn? ... but they don't war with them when they could. I
> gather they don't mind when humans eat them either?
> > 
> > I think that Horn's "good-bye" at the end of OBW needs
> to be interpreted with the understanding that *we don't
> know* Silk is in there at that time. Nothing in the
> narration lets on that the narrator has exchanged Horn's
> body with Silk's. That is the big reveal/cliff-hanger at the
> end of OBW when he says "I took the ball, I won the game."
> It's supposed to be a WTH moment. So when the narrator only
> says good-bye to Horn's family there, he is just maintaining
> character. But he doesn't die. The tree, the inhumi, the
> fear that he will be killed...we're still laying the
> foundation there.
> It's clear to me that Silk is there already, but that's
> only because I know. So, yes, if it is to be understood on
> first read, Horn has to be visibly "killed" again. That
> works because it has a clear effect on the primary narrative
> level---perhaps then exactly "how" he died/retired doesn't
> need to be pinned down.
> I'd still like to know if you think Horn can fade into the
> background without dying. That's my literal sense of it---he
> just gives up.

Just fading away is fine, but in that scene where he says good-bye, we have a reference to Babbie, a non-animal conglomeration spirit for Babbie, Babbie trying to communicate huh huh huh style and pointing at his "tusk", and Babbie getting angry and attacking someone who attacks one of Horn's sons, in addition to the prophecy "I see you, Horn, riding a beast with three horns."

Horn leaves the building, and all that seems to point to a very clear destination. This is textually supported by the opening character notes, from a chapter entitled Horn's book to the name listing that gives horn as the protagonist in the first volume but not for the following ones.  It also makes sense in why the sections written in IGJ do not use entirely first person to relate the stories of Horn on Green.  And if Silk killed himself, the sections in Rttw are third person because Silver Silk, the narrator, wasn't in his body.  That was the now gone Horn.  

The good-bye, the "i caught the ball", the presence of the tree, the change in prayer habits, the proselytizing, the shift in tone, the 3rd person narration places, all point to Horn being in Silk's body until the end of OBW, then leaving, but leaving Silk to imitate him as he imitated Silk in his youth.  I really can't see it otherwise.

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