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From: CRCulver@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Re: Severian and Apu-Punchau
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 16:40:59 

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

In Response to Vizcacha:

Let's get some terms out of the way here before I begin:

Severian1 - the Severian of the first iteration of Briah, who gained the
Phoenix Throne but did not bring the New Sun to Earth.

Severian2 - the Severian who we know, who gained the Phoenix Throne, *with
the help of the Claw*, and did in fact succeed in bringing the New Sun back. 

Tzadkiel, or whoever, saw the 'mistakes' of Severian1, and altered the
timeline so there would be a Severian 2 who would succeed in saving Urth,
although transforming it into Ushas.

Apu-Punchau1 - the Apu-Punchau who Severian2 meets in the Stone Town.
Apu-Punchau1 was Severian1, but did not succeed in bringing the New Sun back,
and for some reason (Mr. Driussi says it is entropy) is cast back in time.

Apu-Punchau2 - the man who Severian2 eventually becomes after the
Urth-to-Ushas thing. He is, in my opinion, the person buried in the Citadel

>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.<

     The name "Apu-Punchau" is so often associated with
Severian1/Apu-Punchau1 that confusion erupts. However, although Severian2
becomes Apu-Punchau2, Apu-Punchau2 and Apu-Punchau1 are not entirely in the
same temporal circumstances. They are two different people, i.e. Apu-Punchau1
is *from the first iteration* and coming from the soon-Ragnarok Urth (he did
fail), but Apu-Punchau2 is from the second iteration, and coming from Ushas,
because he did "succeed."
     Put simply, Severian becomes Apu-Punchau2, a man who appears much the
same as the Apu-Punchau of the Stone Town (Apu-Punchau1) but is not the same.
See below for my comments on the Stone Town.

>I think Severian was meeting his own future self, currently living in the

     I disaggree. In the Stone Town, I believe Severian2 was meeting himself
of a former iteration of Briah, Apu-Punchau1. Severian2 was NOT meeting the
Apu-Punchau which he would become, Apu-Punchau2.

>Severian himself reaches through time (or alternate timelines) to work his
resurrections and healing miracles.<

     I don't really know if Severian2 does this, or the Claw does this. I am
not quite sure how the Claw fits into the iterations of Briah, and it will be
one of the most carefully scrutinized elements when I begin my rereading.
However, I do know that, if Severian2 is correct, then Severian1 did not have
the Claw.

>I agree wholeheartedly that following the temporal antics in the five books
is difficult if not impossible<

     Excuse me whilst I get some more aspirin <g>

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

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