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From: CRCulver@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Fate, undines, and autarchs
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 16:08:36 

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

Xury wrote:
>then why did the undine save him as a child?

     It could be argued that the undine was fated to save him, because he was
fated to live, i.e. the undine was a tool of Tzadkiel to ensure Severian's
life and autarchy much like the unmanning of the past autarchs was.

> She saved him so he could gain the Phoenix Throne, but they must 
>know he would bring the New Sun also, thus bringing their own 

     The undines did not bring their own destruction, they survived the
coming of the New Sun and Urth's transformation into Ushas, as Mr. Driussi
explains. However, I wonder why the undine would have saved him if it led to
the destruction of Erebus, who was an ally of Abaia.

Mr. Driussi wrote:
>The text tells us: (1) autarchs who fail the Test are unmanned; (2)
>there have been autarchs since Ymar, and he died about a chiliad
>before Severian's birth; (3) yet only three autarchs have actually
>taken the Test--Ymar, the Old Autarch, and Severian.

     You are right of course. I seem to be making the most basic errors of
late, perhaps it is time for me to reread the Book of the New Sun. I'm just
waiting for my best friend to get back from France so that I can have
returned my copy of _Shadow and Claw_.

>Typhon was a Monarch, the last of the Monarchs.

     Yes, I do remember how Typhon was the last of the rulers of the
Commonwealth when it had legitimate space activity. Perhaps this is why the
Commonwealth is called by Severian in _Urth_ the rightful ruler of all Urth,
because they were first to acheive space travel(?).

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

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