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From: Neal Smith <nsmith@micro.ti.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Severian's reticence
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 14:24:20 

	I think that in spite of Severian's continuing assurance
that he has perfect recall, that he might as well not have it.
He intentionally omits enough information in the account
that it is almost as if a nearly identical character who does not
have perfect recall has been substituted, and occasionally remembers
and adds details at a leter time.  (Perhaps Severian does not have
perfect memory - but has forgotten that fact.  No, just joking.)

	Anyway, I can see on the part of the author the need to do
this to maintain suspense, and a few mysteries, but why would 
Severian leave these things out in general?  A few of the instances
probably have unique reasons: for instance, Adam's comment about
Severian hiding his tryst with Thecla to avoid admitting another
betrayal of his guild is dead on.  In general, though, I think that
it is simply a matter of style:  Severian tends to include details
only when they directly affected the *actions* that he saw, or took,
and leaves out his emotions, what he considers trivia, and side
issues, no matter how interested we readers may be in some of these
other details.  For example, the conversation with Dorcas that Adam
mentioned:  in the first part, he narrates enough to show how she
left one way, he another, and enough reasons.  Later, he adds the
rest, when it is relevant to what he is doing at the time - being
lost in his memory.  

Neal Smith

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