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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: (urth) Two Hildegrins
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 22:29:31 

I am re-reading TBotNS, as I have mentioned before, I think. I am trying to
be more analytical this time (about the fourth) but I keep getting drawn
into the story and forget to be "on the lookout" for patterns and so on.
What TBotNS really needs (for scholarly purposes anyway) is a thorough,
comprehensive and intelligently designed index. I have even thought of
trying to create one, but I don't think I could find the time to do one
justice (or even do one at all).

I do have a question that I don't think has been addressed on this list
before, at least directly, now that I have finished _Claw_ again. Why did
Severian see *two* Hildegrins, "one who grappled with me, one who fought
something invisible." (_Claw_, ch. 31, p. 409, Orb ed.)

As I think I understand it now, when Severian came down off the roof to
help Hildegrin capture Apu-Punchau and got too close, Severian and
Apu-Punchau "collapsed" (ala _Free Live Free_) into one being (Severian)
who was wrestling with Hildegrin since Apu-Punchau had been. But I am not
sure why Severian saw that other Hildegrin who was fighting "nothing"?

BTW, in earlier discussions of this scene in this list, the assumption
seemed to have been that Hildegrin was trying to kill Apu-Punchau. But it
seems to me to be just as valid a reading to say that he was trying to
capture him. "Hildegrin held him, but he could not subdue him." (ibid.). If
Hildegrin had wanted to kill Apu-Punchau, wouldn't he have just tried to
stab him, rather than subduing him?

Even more BTW, the encounter between Hildegrin and the "bandylegged men"
has many similarities to the encounter between a contemporary man and
ancient Iroquois warriors in "Sightings at Twin Mounds" in _Storeys from
the Old Hotel_.

William Ansley

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

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