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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: (urth) Nature of the Claw
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 19:32:07 

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

On Fri, 30 Jan 1998 CRCulver@aol.com wrote:

> In Response to Vizcacha:
> >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.

Maybe this would be a good place to ask this question.  Near the end of
Citadel Severian finds the bushes with thorns identical to the Claw.  My
take on this is that he realizes that the "claw" he found after the gem
was destroyed was just another one of these thorns (not necessarily one
that had been inside the shattered gem as Severian thought) and that the
actual power came from the Increate who is able to manifest his power
through any part of creation he chooses (thus the whole world is "holy

Then, having read Urth, I'm inclined to say that the power of the claw
came from the Increate via the New Sun via Severian himself, but still the
same principle.  I'm reminded of the end of Donaldson's Thomas Covenant

Does this reading make sense, or are there other reasons to believe the
Claw had some intrinsic power apart from Severian?

(Looking back, I see the thorn/claw was glowing when Severian found it.
Perhaps he unconsciously needed something to focus the power he was
tapping into from the New Sun?)

This list has made me realize how much I need to re-read these books.  I'm
amazed at how much I missed.


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