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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Claw & Baldanders
Date: Sun,  1 Feb 98 05:24:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #9595607 from CRCULVER@AOL.COM@INET01#


Re: the Claw as a device made by Tzadkiel?  Uh, um, no.  Remember,
back at the metaphysical climax of Volume Four, when Sev figured out
that the (by now replaced in altar) Claw was really just a rose thorn,
and he picked a new one, there on the beach?  And then (as if that
weren't enough by itself) in URTH this "new thorn" became covered with
Severian's blood (i.e., little cells of Severian) in the course of
things (on the Big Ship), and even Apheta said that it had become the
Claw, and then back on Urth in the past he gave it away to some
soldiers who had just defected from Typhon?

The "nonchalant" response given toward the Claw by F, B, & O is due
more to the fact that they understand it is only a tool of Severian,
and they are probing him through questions to see if he understands
that.  And he doesn't yet understand that, so he "fails" their
test--as they are so quick to point out.

Re: Baldanders the man who would be Autarch.  You write:

>I would like page references for this, if you wouldn't mind.
>Incidentally, Baldanders would most certainly fail the test, because
>he seemed to think of the New Sun, the Claw, and the BotNS lore as
>superstition. So, Baldanders as Autarch would = Ragnarok.

How odd--you want references . . . yet you still =agree= with me in a
way that seems somehow contentious!  Yes, of course Baldanders would
fail the test--probably by his refusal to even =take= it (likewise
Vodalus, were he able to seize the throne); and thus the somehow crucial
time window would slowly, finally close; the New Sun would not come;
the Ragnarok probability wave (like Schroedinger's "50% Dead" Cat) would
consequently grow from 50% to 100%.

I don't know about this "citations on tap" function I'm developing
here . . . I'm starting to feel like a dancing bear or something.  Are
you writing a paper?  I'd be more inclined to offer Cliff Notes if
I knew you were working on an essay or . . .

Oh, here's one.  From Apheta herself: "The giant [Baldanders] you saw
might have mastered the Commonwealth, had Severian not defeated him
[way back in Volume Three]" (V, ch. 22).


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