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From: CRCulver@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Dr Talos' Play
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 17:20:31 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Tony Ellis, M. Driussi, and Friends,

A response to the letters by Mr. Ellis, and Sieur Driussi.

>Interestingly, we don't actually get to the incidents dramatised in the play
until "The Urth of the New Sun".

Really? I have not read _Urth_ yet. The Orb re-release is out now and I shall
go buy that as soon as I can. Don't worry about spoiling anything for me,
'cause the suspense would kill me if you didn't. <g>

>>In the play, this is clearly Jahi.

   Really? Now, I usually have to read a Wolfe work several times to
understand it, but I thought that Jahi was the *daughter* of Meschia and
Meschiane, due to the Autarch's comments about her age.

>Nod, the giant, is one of the Nephilim.

   Yep, Nod was one of the most humourous characters in the play. His
comments about the east of Eden were most interesting. I think that he is
really meant to be Baldanders (not just played by him) because his is so slow
with understanding that what is coming is the second creation; Gabriel said
that "You have the wrong creation, my friend."

>>Nobody knows for sure, but they obviously have no place in the 
conventional Christian universe.

   LOL, look up Nephilim in "The Devil's Dictionary," that wonderful satire
by Ambrose Bierce, and you'll see that you and that definition agree in

>Does Sumer have Titan-like Nephilim?

I don't think so. I believe that the world was created by just the main
pantheon of gods, mostly Enki. I may be wrong, though.

>...(especially Agia and Dorcas, who really are Lilith and Eve)

This really seems to be the case. Agia is certainly an evil woman, just like
Lilith. Dorcas, however, is the just, kind woman who Severian comes to know.
However, there are other women whose roles we shall have to assertain, such
as Thecla, Thea, Jolenta, the Pelerine in Thrax, etc.

>...the play is more about the =Persian= creation myth than either the Hebrew
or Sumerian.

    Hmm, let's look at the Persian religion Zoroastrianism. Who is the deity?
The SUN! Actually, it is revered as a home/incarnation of the god of light,
Ahura-Mazda. Could Severian/Conciliator/New Sun be symbolic of Ahura-Mazada?

Now for my questions:

1) Is the Contessa symbolic of the magicians in the mountains in _Sword of
the Lictor_? Both the Contessa and the magicians fear the coming of the New
Sun, although the magicians don't complain about it like the Contessa, they

2) Gabriel is present to "set the scene" but could he be much more important?
And who played him in the presentation at the House Absolute, was it Dr.
Talos himself?

Let's continue this interesting study!

Christopher R. Culver <crculver@aol.com>
"Ignorance, that light of fools steers a wayward path"
-Brendan Perry

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