The "old guy" is Cayce's father?

The current Wikipedia entry on Spook Country contains the following nugget:


The identity of the old man remains unclear, though context implies that he may be Pattern Recognition's protagonist Cayce Pollard's father, having removed himself from the channels of normal life to focus on disrupting what he sees as criminal elements operating in the United States Government.


This is an interesting speculation that would fit within the principle of Occam's Razor as applied to writing, do not multiply characters needlessly. However, from what we know in the following book with respect to the Ugly T-Shirt, he still has friends in high places and markers to call in.  If he had faked his death to protect his family, then he could not resort to obtaining those favors, since two men can keep a secret if one is dead.

Original Post

That was discussed in 2007, and most people agreed that was not so. Gibson himself made clear in an interview that the connection was not intentional but that once he became aware of the possibility he preferred to let it remain, ambiguously, there.


BS:... in relation to a review that Ed Park wrote for the LA Times, he suggested, that the "old man", in this book, because he is described as resembling William Burroughs, just as Win is described as resembling William Burroughs in Pattern Recognition, that the two may very well be the actual same sort of figure, is, is this errr, a possibility or ?

WG: err, You, know, it occurred to me, but, in, in terms of my absolute relationship to the material, I don't know, aah. and, I haven't been willing to, to look at the, the implications.

BS: Did you kind of leave things open so that you could possibly could explore this in a third book, or ?

WG: No, I wouldn't, I, I don't really work that way, but I leave them open because, closing them , (would), would be, too much trouble - It could even be Disastrous. By, by the time I realised that, that, people might think that, I had the character, and I was, like, very invested, I was very invested, sort of like what, what I told you about naming, naming Cayce - wait a minute, people will think, and I thought "My God, what if he is ?"

BS: [indistinct]

WG: , and then, kinda of, mmmm, Don't Go There,


For me, this is Win Pollard:



And this is the Old Man:


Different men, both Burroughs.

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