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From: "Tony Ellis" <tellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v006.n023
Date: 31 Jan 1998 13:40:07 +0100

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

 RE>Digest urth.v006.n023

Jim Jordan wrote:
>Nod is the pre-Adamite man-ape who rules the land of Nod.

Yes. In one of the essays in Castle of the Otter Wolfe argues
that the Nephilim were the offspring of early humanity and one of
the many human-like species knocking around at the time. 
(Which essay? Sorry, can't remember, and the book's back

CRCulver wrote:
>Woah, Gene Wolfe himself has said that there are only 2 chiliads between
>our present time here inA.D. 1998, and Severian's time. (I think it is =
in the
>People interview).

Careful. If you look at the transcript of the interview, you'll see that
Wolfe has been asked TWO questions: "How far in the future is the
New Sun series set?", and "How much time elapses between
Typhon and Severian?" His answer "between 1000 and 2000 years"
is almost certainly to the latter question.

David Lebling wrote:
>Every ruler post-Typhon is an autarch:
>did they each carve a mountain? If each reigned 10 years, we only have
>time for 100 mountains, assuming that they _all_ did one...

Do we know how many carved mountains Severian saw? I've 
always had the impression it wasn't that high a number, maybe
a dozen or so, but perhaps I just wasn't reading very closely.
Anybody got the book to hand?

CRCulver wrote:
>Apu-Punchau1 was Severian1, but did not succeed in bringing the New Sun =
>and for some reason (Mr. Driussi says it is entropy) is cast back in =
>Apu-Punchau2 - the man who Severian2 eventually becomes after the
>Urth-to-Ushas thing. He is, in my opinion, the person buried in the =

I don't think it makes sense to talk about 2 Apu-Punchaus. It's 
certainly not enough to say that Severian1 was sent back in time 
"for some reason" and leave it at that! If Severian1 never brought the
New Sun, then he neither gained the power to travel back in time nor 
became a significant player in the cosmic struggle. Why should
"entropy", or anything else, take the trouble to cast him back in time?
Where is the suggestion in the novels that this happened?

It seems to me that in Severian1's universe, there either was no
Apu-Punchau because Severian never went back in time to become
him, or, because both the Severian1 timeline and the Severian2
timeline branch off from the same pre-historic trunk, there was but
it was the same "Severian2" Apu-Punchau we meet in UOTHS.

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