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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (urth) Severian's Trials
Date: Sat, 2 May 98 12:51:06 

* William Ansley's epigraph

Wonderful epigraph!  I hereby petition Ranjit to add it to the Archive
Web Pages, and the digest. As they say in alt.folklore.urban, "Motto!"

* mantis, re: The Two Sevs

I had momentarily forgotten the Baldanders-as-contender timeline, thanks
for reminding me.

The differences between the lives of Severian1 and Severian2? There's a
fruitful avenue for speculation!

Obviously, the first turning point is his rescue from drowning. It is
not a coincidence that this is the first incident in the books.  The
question is, in Sev1's life, what happened? My money says that he was
either rescued by one of the other apprentices, or saved himself.  (Sev2
engineers his own rescue, as you point out, so it couldn't have happened
to Sev1.)

Similarly, his finding and saving Triskele was the second turning point.
He even describes what happened in Sev1's life: (paraphrasing) "had we
found him even a year earlier, we would have worshipped him as a god". 
Another nudge happens on his visit to the library, where he gets and is
thus exposed to _The Book of the New Sun_ and _The Book of the Wonders
of Urth and Sky_ (the others are trivial).  I suspect they (and
particularly the former) couldn't be found in Sev1's life.

To elaborate on the qualities desired in the bringer of the New Sun,
Severian1 was obviously well-supplied with ruthlessness,
single-mindedness, and so on.  The goal of the timeline engineering was
to produce a Severian2 whose victims would forgive him and fight for him
in the final battle (Armageddon, anyone?), where only the shades of his
victims support him.

This is a wonderful twist on the usual religious point of view, where
the question is; will God forgive my sins, how will I be judged?
Severian, as a literary Christ-figure, must be judged and forgiven by
his victims to restore the earthly paradise.

I think Severian1 lost this battle.

* William Ansley, re: Timeline of _Peace_.

My guess was mostly that.  I had found that Emil Ludwig's _Napoleon_ was
first published in English in 1925, so Weer probably hadn't read it
before about 1927 or 1928 (it was a best seller in 1926).  Ludwig's
biography was a "popular" one, and one of the first biographical works
to use Freudian techniques.

I'll have to get the NYRSF backissue that has the timeline.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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