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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (urth) The Rats in the Walls, etc.
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 98 14:24:41 

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

alga, re South America:

While you are absolutely right that TBOTNS's South America isn't ours, I
think it's safe to say it fills the role of South America on Urth. 
Recall that while Severian's universe isn't necessarily (maybe even
certainly) ours, it is also stated that each successive universe
resembles all the others, even down to minor details.

Rats: I guess I'm a literalist, but I think the rats in the library do
have writing in the same sense that humans do.  What better place for
them to learn and practice the art, after all?  There's a touch of
Leiber's Lankhmar in Nessus, I think; and recall the rat civilization
under that dark city!

Joshua Solomon, re rivers:

I know the Rio de la Plata runs more or less southeast. Its north bank
tributaries may run into it in a southwesterly direction. I think in
general rivers in Argentina run southeast or east. Rivers in Chile run
westerly, but are pretty short as a rule. The Gyoll is a wide deep river
that cuts deeply into its continent west and south of high mountains:
it's the mirror image of the Rio de la Plata.


I found an interesting reference about carving the mountains, in _Urth_.
When Severian is taken to Mount Typhon, he states in so many words that
he's never before seen an uncarved mountain, and Typhon's is the only
carved one at that time.  He also states that the _autarchs_ who
succeeded Typhon carved others in imitation of Typhon's.  At that point
in his life, he's in a position to know.

Also, someone asked about the name Legion. It's biblical, isn't it? From
the story of Jesus casting the demons from a man into a herd of swine.
Weren't those demons called Legion?  It has become a semi-synonym for "a
whole big bunch."  I suppose it's possible the biblical reference is
related to the Roman military unit, as well.  If you call yourself
Legion, it means "I have too many names to mention, enough for a whole
Legion of troops."

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