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From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: Re: (urth) Genetics & Spatial Dyslexia
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 09:11:26 

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

"Tony Ellis" <tellis@futurenet.co.uk> counters my guesswork:

>Re Severian's spacial dyslexia
>>Severian may well be spacially dyslexic. Take another look at
>>the Typhon sequence.  Severian, looking out the left eye of 
>>west-facing Mount Typhon, sees a battle ... to the northeast?
>Severian sees a lot things he couldn't possibly see from that vantage
>point. "'No mountain is so high... a man could never see as far as I 
>do now.'" Severian is looking out of mighty Typhon's eye, and can see
>whatever Typhon wants him to see.

Sure.  Even so, it irks me.

>>Another supporting detail:  how many times is Severian given precise
>>directions to reach some place, but gets lost anyhow? 
>Severian explains this phenomenon quite simply, saying of his
>perfect memory when he gets lost on the ship "...it did me no more
>good than when I had tried to follow the directions of that lochage of 
>the peltasts whom I met upon the bridge of Gyoll. No doubt Idas had
>assumed I knew more of the ship than I did, and that I would not 
>count doors and look for turnings with exactness." (TUOTNS IV)

As an even simpler explanation, it should be pointed out that Idas
has an interest in misleading Severian.  But the same thing happens on
other occasions, too.  Who is misleading him in the twisted alleys of
Thrax?  Not his memory, surely?  Proves nothing, but I find the pattern

>And don't forget the time Severian brilliantly deduces the location
>of Terminus Est from a very partial exploration of the Hypogeum
>Apotropaic. That doesn't sound like a man with spacial dyslexia to me.

The Hypogeum Apotropaic is *symmetrical*, like the villa Triste-le-Roy.
Sounds to me like an easy environment for a dyslexic detective, although
I'll admit that I know little about the subject.

Another odd piece that seems to fit the same pattern:  Does Severian
ever tell us which leg, left or right, is injured at Orithiya?  It
seems to me that he falls into a "good leg, bad leg" orientation,
almost as if that's easier for him.  And which cheek does Agia lay open?

(For the record:  Caesar Claudius, bum left leg.  King Jesus, dislocated
left leg I *think*, might be mistaken.  Patera Silk, broken right ankle.
Severian?  I think left, but my reasoning is extremely indirect.)

raster@highfiber.com  (trying to say "dyslexic detective" five times fast)

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