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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) alga's enumeration
Date: Tue, 12 May 98 05:43:00 GMT


Re: seven Severians as ten or more.  Yes, of course you are right.
And you know I know--I've listed the probable resurrections (under
"Miracles," AE& p. 13) including eight for Severian himself.

The thing is, the text talks of a "first Severian," which then makes
the narrator a "second Severian."  This Sev2 goes through four deaths
before leaving TBOTNS, and then all the rest in URTH, but from his
point of view as narrator he remains Sev2.

He knows this mindset has flaws.  He can see Apu get up and walk
around without "him," et cetera--the whole sliver phenomenon.  And
some of the deaths are more spectacular than others, they offer less
leaway for non-miraculous explanation.  Finally when he has to accept
that he has been a ghost putting on weight (more than once!), which
the reader had begun to suspect long before with those long swims
underwater-without-breathing episodes, Severian comes close to having
a breakdown.

We see all these Severians from Sev2 onward because they are the
narrative voice; but we cannot see Sev1, the one who made it without
the Claw (and all the other bells & whistles).  Sev1 is =not= the boy
who drowned in the river--Sev1 is the one who did the whole quest
without dying once (!).  The one who is at the pivotal point (maybe);
the one who is (perhaps) confessing to and receiving counseling from
the time-traveling angels at his testing in Yesod.  ("But didn't you
have a dog?  Tell me more about your mother.  Ever talk to the girl
next door?"<g>)

Sev1--the unseen.
Sev2--drowned apprentice.
Sev3--journeyman killed in Fiacre crash.
Sev4--journeyman killed at Sanguinary Field.
Sev5--irregular soldier killed at the front.
Sev6--autarch killed on starship.
Sev7--the white fountain.
Sev9--Claw of Conciliator.
Sev10--New Sun drowned at deluge.
Sev11--Apu Punchau, strangled at dawn age.
Sev12--the Sleeper awakes . . .

Aside to viz,

Argument that Sev1 was granted a white fountain anyway.  Because

If there is no white fountain in transit, then it only exists as a
probability wave (like the ragnarok/ushas futures).

Then again, this thought =might= go a distance towards explaining
the Claw's wishy-washy, sometimes yes, sometimes no miracle
production; that is, it isn't the Claw acting like some kind of boy
scout/Jimminy Cricket/Super Ego, awarding miracles for good deeds
done.  Rather, according to this half dead/half live cat model, the
Claw as dumb object (like the photographs in BACK TO THE FUTURE and
THE TERMINATOR) only responds in Ragnarok mode (when Sev errs toward
entropy) by doing nothing or in Ushas mode (when Sev blunders into
goodness) by doing something random.  Litmus paper.

More about the limbo land between Briah and Yesod--as the ship goes
through it, Severian thinks of Master Ash and says "It seemed to me
that he was beside me again . . . on the ship I learned when he had
fled me" (V, ch. 14, p. 99).  So it seems at least Ash, who
discorporated, is there in some form.


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

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