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From: "Dan'l Danehy Oakes" <DDANEHYO@us.oracle.com>
Subject: (urth) "The First Severian"
Date: 04 May 98 07:01:01 

I was at first surprised at all the stuff about who "the first  
Severian" was.  The Severian who writes tBotNS -- the one who tells 
us "I know that I am not the first Severian" -- has been killed and 
resurrected/reconstructed from a "ghost" (aqastor, whatchmajiggy) 
more than once, after all. 
But that doesn't cover what he means; he talks about a Severian who 
has a parallel career but does not bring the New Sun. 
So -- consider another possibility.  Wolfe, as an intellectual 
Roman Catholic, is very aware of the distinction between the view 
of Eternity and that of Space/Time. 
So consider (if you will) the world as the artwork of a Creator. He  
(and, from the RC PoV, there is really very little alternative to 
using the masculine singular pronoun) creates a world as a "first 
draft."  It goes along according to its natural laws -- and the 
Creator is _not_ pleased with the way it comes out. 
So He intervenes.  From in spacetime, these look like suspensions  
of natural law -- we call them "miracles."  (From outside  
spacetime, from the Eternal point of view, of course, they're  
perfectly natural.) But they change the flow of history.  Before  
the Creator intervenes, for example, Joshua and his army get  
wiped out at Jericho; then the Creator intervenes and the walls  
And, from the spacetime point of view _it has always happened that  
Severian-1 is the Severian of the "first draft."  (Actually, the 
_nth_ draft, since until certain events in dimmer history -- like 
Jericho -- have taken place, events will produce no Severian at all:   
but he is the first draft of Severian.)  He does the things  
Severian-2 describes.  Then the Creator -- or, perhaps, His servants 
like Tzadkiel -- intervene, probably from the moment of his 
conception (not immaculate, but special), linking his being with 
that of the White Fountain.  That is the Severian-2 we know and, 
well, whatever.  (He's not terribly lovable, is he...?) 
|--Dan'l Danehy-Oakes            | Can you believe that the eagle  | 
|  Staff Curriculum Developer    |    will fly with the dove?      | 
|  Oracle World-Wide Education   | Can you believe in the rose     | 
|  email: ddanehyo@us.oracle.com |    in the raised fisted glove?  | 
|  phone: 650-506-0793           |        -- John Michael Talbot   | 

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

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