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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) Sex and the Single Severian
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 11:36:06 

From: m.driussi@genie.com

>Why I guessed that Sev1 might have killed a prostitute.

>(2) His companion explicitly warns him about using grips on the
>prostitutes.  Red flag.

Perhaps this is a red flag, but maybe it's meant to signal something
else.  I have always felt pretty strongly that this was Wolfe's
one-sentence statement to anyone who cared to know that the average
torturer doesn't explicitly "get off" on any potential S&M angle that
one might read into their job.  I think Severian is genuinely
surprised at the idea that anyone would use a "grip" or any other
torturer's technique.  Of course it's also hinted that some, Master
Gurloes in particular, probably enjoy carrying out a sentence of rape,
which is of course entriely different.  It's surprising that Gurloes
would even admit it.  It certainly difficult to imagine Palaemon
saying it.

>(3) He comes very close to becoming very violent with the prostitute.
>This despite the "softening" effects of being in love with Thecla and
>the direct warning from his "elder brother" of the guild.

As near as I can tell, the reason that he becomes angry with the
prostitute (who is Thecla's khaibit, right?) is because she is not
Thecla.  What would his motivation be to kill the prostitute?  General

>(4) Sev2's carnal relations with women are usually marked by a degree
>of violence.

I believe Severian would tell you that all men's carnal relations with
women are marked by a degree of violence and vice-versa.

>You were trying to remember the name of the beast whose mouth is a
>cave--the name is "Uroboros" (II, ch. 27).

Just how many evil giants are there swimming around anyway?  Erebus
and Abaia seem to function like Sauron in LotR, often mentioned but
never actually portrayed.  An entire underwater civilization is hinted
at but not directly depicted at any length.


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

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