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From: CRCulver@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Ymar's Folly
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 15:41:38 

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


    In the Book of the New Sun, the people knew that the Conciliator and the
New Sun were one and the same person. This is evidenced by the words that
Severian says to Morwenna just before he executes her: "Try to remember that
almost everyone who has every lived has died, even the Conciliator, who will
rise as the New Sun."
     For lack of a better explanation, I will assert that this belief comes
from Canog's Book of the New Sun, because he was listening as the man
everyone was calling the Conciliator spoke of his role as the New Sun.
     My question is this: why would Ymar go and take the test in Yesod if he
had met the Conciliator? I have several explanations that may fit:

1) Canog did not finish his BotNS until after Ymar took the test.

2) Canog finished his BotNS before Ymar went to Yesod, but its contents did
not become part of common knowledge until long after the test.

3) Ymar believed that the Conciliator was *his* future self.

4) Ymar did not know that castration was 'punishment' for 'failing' the test
and figured he had nothing to lose.
  Out of these four, I think the third is most interesting, and the fourth is
most possible. What do the other denizens of the Urth list think?

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

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