Silk Themes

Alessandro Baricco
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[i]Silk[/i] and the Mythological Tradition

Silk, ostensibly an historical romance, participates in the classic mythological tradition. The story contains many elements that are found in myths, from a protagonist on a hero's journey (Hervé Joncour), an item of great value (the mistress of Hara Kei), an evil king (Hara Kei), a mysterious mentor (Baldabiou), a mother figure (Madame Blanche), and a faithful wife (Hélène Joncour). The hero heeds a call to adventure, makes a journey to a fabled land at the ends of the earth, makes great sacrifices, saves his people, and acquires wisdom.

Like many heroic figures of myth, Hervé Joncour is a soldier when he his called by destiny. Destiny, in this case, is Baldabiou, who appears from nowhere, shares arcane knowledge about the silk industry, deals in puzzles and symbols (like his interest in dolphins and his "handicapped" billiards "opponent"), and nudges...

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This section contains 2,158 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Silk Study Guide
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