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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Severian's Trials
Date: Sat,  2 May 98 18:01:00 GMT


Yes!  Yes!  The drowning; the dog Triskele (Severian's first
resurrection; excercises in mercy and compassion; the excercises in
loss, searching, and letting go.  Like Valeria sez: having loved the
dog, you can now love another creature); Thecla's books.  These are
the first milestones warping Sev1 into Sev2.

Sev1 had no Thecla, and certainly no Dorcas.  He was sent to Thrax
at the request of the Archon of Thrax.  Somehow from there he was
drawn to the war (as Sev2 muses about Sev1).

Re: Sev1 failing.  I will agree with that with the qualification that
as the last and only contender he was then =made= to win
retroactively.  Because Absolute Time is running out: the fork in the
road between Ragnarok and Ushas is quickly approaching.  The fate of
Yesod hangs in the balance.

So in that scene where Sev2 runs down the hallway in Yesod where his
lifescenes are portrayed in stained glass (well, portrayed at least
<g>), Sev1 walked down the hallway and examined the failures and
shortcomings of his life--wondered at how it could have been made
better--and was granted the New Sun anyway.  This penitent dream of
optimization then is part of the white fountain circuit which powers
the Claw and begins the actual process of optimization (don't forget
that the Claw and the white fountain are independent agents, "quiet
characters" if you will).  (Which of course is paralleled by Sev2
writing his memoirs, an act which obviously optimizes one's own story
at the same time it examines it.)

I.e., failure or not, there has to be a New Sun to power Sev2.  If
Sev1 fails to bring the New Sun at greater than 51%, why would the
enemies lift a finger?  Well, that's false on two counts: first, the
distinction between friends/enemies of the New Sun is as tricky as
angels/devils (i.e., both are working, hammer and anvil like, upon
Sev2); second, it is the potential of Sev2 to bring the New Sun that
is at issue--Sev2 is the battleground.  That Sev1 took the ship to
Yesod might have been enough for that iteration.

So Sev1 failed, period.  But he =did= make it to Yesod, which was more
than any other participants could do.

(Fits nicely with my sense that the Real Present is a clock ticking
from Valeria's Regency, beginning when Sev1 steps onto the ship, to
the Deluge.)


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

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