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From: "Tony Ellis" <tellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Re: Fate, undines and Autarc
Date: 29 Jan 1998 11:13:13 +0100

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

 RE>Fate, undines and Autarchs

CRCulver (et al):
>     The undines did not bring their own destruction, they survived the
>coming of the New Sun and Urth's transformation into Ushas, as Mr. =
>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.

Don't forget that TBOTNS is set in a universe of multiple possible =
In some futures, no doubt, saving Severian leads to him becoming Autarch
and satrap of Erebus, in others it just leads to him failing further down =
line - remember the chilly future seen from Master Ash's tower? Saving
him is a gamble, and it just happens that in the time-strand the novels
follow it's a gamble that fails.

Having said that, I'm not sure that it's correct even to say that saving
Severian "led to the destruction of Erebus". Erebus lives under the sea
just like the undines, so presumably he survives too.

>Is the copy of the BOTNS which is given to Thecla in her cell Severian's
>first manuscript, or a copy? (I don't know if we have a definite answer =

Personally I'm still reeling from the bombshell that Thecla is able to
order the "lost" BOTNS from her local library in the first place. I think =
must be not only a copy, but a major rewrite of the manuscript Severian
pens. How else could he fail to recognise the New Sun as himself, or
walk blindly into the various dangers he encounters, if he's read the 
narrative we have?

I would be interested to know just how many versions of the BOTNS
are actually out there, and how they differ. Any educated guesses?

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