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From: "J. Schultz" <jschultz@wcnet.org>
Subject: (urth) Fav lines
Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 17:14:43 

Sorry about the Html format, I didn't know any better.  Problem solved.

I suddenly realized one of the great problems in determining the answers to
so many riddles.  Severian's reaction to said mysteries is usually one of
complete indifference.  We will never know if Severian thinks that the
constellation of the Swan is of Urth's or not.  Even when faced with the
bizare, terrible, or strange Severian merely takes it in stride and moves
on.  There are times when he understands less than the reader and other
times where we are surprised at the revelations he has just spoken to us.
(I love it)

Along this train of thought, some of my favorite lines come from Wolfe's use
of irony and scenes where Severian misunderstands what the reader has
grasped.  The lines in question come from Severian's childhood at the
Matachin Tower.

When Severian is in the Atrium of Time, Valaria is trying to comfort S over
the loss of his dog and says:  "...he too may have found hospitality.  You
love him, so another may love him.  You love him, so you may love another."
Beautiful!  ...and Severian's answer?  "I agreed, but secretly thought that
I would never have another dog."  Ha!

Severian also seems to misunderstand the nature of Katherine during his
elevation.  She most certainly is an automaton who is brought out once a
year to play her part and then returned to her box at the end of the feast.
Yet S comes up with elaborate reasoning and trickery that would explain the
beheading.  In his naivetee S has tried to explain what he has seen yet
falls way short of the mark.  The answer is much simpler, yet much stranger
that S has imagined.  There are many other times when S may be doing the
exact same thing.

Now a question and an answer:
Why is Agilus wearing a death mask when Sev first sees him in the rag shop?

As a side note:  I  read the archives and someone wondered what the
disturbance was at the gate of Nessus toward the end of book one.  I don't
think its a coincidence that the chapter is named Hethor and he makes his
first appearence.  My theory is that he has loosed some sort of creature
that is causing quite a commotion.


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

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