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From: "Tony Ellis" <tellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Re: Divine Week
Date: 2 Dec 1997 11:55:27 +0100

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

 RE>Divine Week

Mantis wrote:
>[A lot of Scene I is pre-echoed by events in the Botanical Gardens of
>Nessus involving Severian, Dorcas, Agia, Hildegrin; 

Blimey, so it is! Even down to the sabre-tooth moggy. Most observant
of you.

>=3DScenes as Days of [Divine] Week=3D
>I.....Monday......Moon--Jahi as Moon [now I think Meschiane is Moon]
>II....Tuesday.....Mars--appearance of soldiers
>III...Wednesday...Mercury--underworld and prophets
>V.....Friday......Venus [this is Jahi, I'm thinking]
>VI....Saturday....Saturn--autarch usurped [unrecognized in his own
>VII...Sunday......Sun--arrival of New Sun

My problem with inventive extrapolations like this: if you look for
patterns you will always find them. 

Unless I'm missing something (it wouldn't be the first time), the 
associations you make between characters and days seem 
pretty arbitrary. Why not assign the first scene to Nod, or 
Meschia, or Gabriel, who also appear in it? Why doesn't the 
Familiar get to be represented by a planet? Or the Contessa? Why
is Thursday Jupiter? Why is Friday Jahi's day, and not another?

You say that Meschiane is Moon, making the first scene Monday,
but you also say that "Valeria is Moon to Severian's New Sun". I
think you have something with this latter point, I like the idea of 
Valerian's lunar reign being eclipsed by the New Sun, but in 
that case surely Autarch =3D Moon?

It seems to me that I could just as plausibly prove that the 7 
scenes equate to the 7 Deadly Sins (Jahi =3D Lust, Autarch =3D
Envy, Nod =3D Sloth etc), or the 7 Dwarfs (Meschiane =3D
Bashful, Statue =3D Grumpy etc). Or maybe there are ten scenes
and they equate to the Ten Commandments? (Jahi + Meschia =3D
adultery, Meschia and Meschiane =3D honour thy father and 
mother, etc) <g>

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