(urth) Seawrack and the Mother

Sergei SOLOVIEV soloviev at irit.fr
Tue Sep 18 09:05:33 PDT 2012

I cannot agree. It is often the case that your conjectures kill other 
important elements
of the plot, for example, Babbie's guilt when Seawrack comes again (it 
is clearly
described). If it is not Babbie who mutulated Seawrack first time, when 
she tried to
get into the sloop when Horn was absent, why is Babbie guilty? All this 
goes into

Sergei Soloviev

Lee Berman wrote:
> I'm re-reading Short Sun and I've become fully convinced of something
> I previously suspected. When Horn finds fresh blood on his boat he
> thinks of the woman he shot on the pirate ship, but dismisses the 
> thought of the injured woman being able to swim after him as silly.
> But as we later learn, a siren/mermaid, even a one-armed one, would 
> be capable of such a feat. So I do think that woman was Seawrack and
> that she lost her arm due to Horn's shot. The idea is supported later
> when Horn finds a large branched piece of driftwood and he thinks he
> sees a pale face beneath it, but again dismisses the idea as silly.
> Furthermore, I think the pirate ship, which is colored black in every 
> single part of it, is actually the Mother. Seawrack is probably an 
> outgrowth of her, similar to the human figure we later see above the 
> Mother and similar to the undine-like growths we see much later on Great 
> Scylla.
> Before Horn actually meets Seawrack, he hears what he identifies
> as The Mother's song. He compares it to the sound of an instrument 
> called Molpe's Dulcimer. This demonstrates a connection of the Mother
> not only to Great Scylla (and Abaia) but also to the gods of the Whorl.
> (not to mention earth's siren/mermaid legends)
> A hesitation I had on this theory is that Horn tells us that the woman
> on the pirate ship was shooting at him. If the black pirate ship is 
> really the Mother and the woman an outgrowth, how could it shoot at him?
> Then it finally hit me: the story of the Naviscaput. This involves a 
> giant sea creature (Abaia and/or Erebus) whose protruding head above 
> the waves takes the form of a ship with a turret and gun. There is a nice
> web of connections between these giant sea creatures for me.
> The fact of Abaia and Erebus being given a male gender does nothing to 
> disconnect them from the Mother and Great Scylla. I think we are given 
> ample hints by Wolfe to understand that such asexual superhuman beings 
> (as for Tzadkiel and for Biblical angels and demons) do not really have 
> gender and only get one assigned to them when they are described in human 
> legends or when they take human form. 		 	   		  
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