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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (urth) Severian and Apu-Punchau
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 98 13:42:11 

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

CRCulver writes:
> Apu-Punchau was the Severian of the first "iteration" of Briah, before
> the timeline was altered. (See _Citadel_ chapter XXXVIII, paragraph
> 5). I've never been adept at explaining temporal mechanics, so I hope 
> you can get all
> you want to know out of the BotNS text itself.

I think Severian must be in error here, because in "our" timeline, near
the end of "Urth of the New Sun," he becomes Apu-Punchau.  As this
hasn't happened to him yet when he writes _Citadel_, he doesn't realize
that he too will end up as Apu-Punchau.

Or are you suggesting that the previous incarnation of Severian was
Apu-Punchau, version 1, and "our" Severian is Apu-Punchau, version 2?

This suggestion, it seems to me, rests on the idea that the first
Apu-Punchau died (for real), because Severian met his ghost in the Stone
Town.  Except, it wasn't a ghost; the Cumaean reached back through time
to a period when Apu-Punchau was alive (or vice versa), just as Severian
himself reaches through time (or alternate timelines) to work his
resurrections and healing miracles.  I think Severian was meeting his
own future self, currently living in the past.

I agree wholeheartedly that following the temporal antics (much less the
deaths and resurrections) in the five books is difficult if not
impossible.  I'd love to see the full accounting and a timeline with
branch points...


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