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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Grab Bag
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 98 04:49:00 GMT

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

Wow, so much activity!

Re: how many versions of THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN (the book of the
church of the Conciliator, rather than the skiffy adventures of
Severian), there is at least one, which I refer to as "(Canog's) Book
of the New Sun," since Canog is the criminal in the next cell who
overheard Severian the Conciliator talking to his followers in URTH.

Re: "s" is for serpent, "t" is for sword.  Patrick, while that line
is everybody's favorite, I've never seen the "st" itself taken
further as you have done.  Interesting stuff!  That area of the text
is rich in symbols: if I remember right, he is saying that he is
seeing an edenic world (island) suspended between two opposites
(world of air and world of water) . . .

Re: Reechy.  Right, r., Reechy grows up into Ymar, and then, perhaps
because he'd been inspired by his meeting with the Conciliator, Ymar
went off to fail the Test in Yesod.  And then every other autarch
chose to found a dynasty rather than go off to Yesod, until the Old
Autarch--and his procreative capacity was sacrificed so that he
wouldn't found a dynasty and Severian would ascend the throne and
take the test and succeed.  The Old Autarch really was a tool of
those above; the game was rigged; and when he finds out (within
Severian's head) he loses his usual "all knowing" cool.

Re: the age of the mountains and what Gene Wolfe said in the People
interview.  First, what Gene said: I thought it was a little
ambiguous, and it seems that communications were a little garbled.
However, having expressed those doubts, sure, we can enter two or
three new models for posthistory based on this snippet (for example:
one, that posthistory is two thousand years, starting at the year AD
2000; two, that the Age of the Autarch is two-thousand years long; or
three, that posthistory from Apu-Punchau to Ushas is two-thousand
years long).

Next, the age of the mountains.  See, I =still= believe that the
mountains of Urth are basically ruins of supercity arcologies built
by the machines as described in the Tale of the Librarians told by
Cyriaca to Severian.  So yes, small scale terraforming along the
lines that vizcacha says--perhaps (probably?) even to the point of
raising an artificial continent.  In any event, the implied
geological time is short circuited.


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