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From: "Timothy Reilly" <treilly@ozemail.com.au>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v027.n006
Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 13:50:10 +1000

> --------------- MESSAGE urth.v027.n006.8 ---------------
> From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
> Subject: Re: (urth) Green Man
> Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 15:51:19 -0700
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> In-Reply-To: <199905260531.WAA20677@lists1.best.com>
> Hello Timothy Reilly!
> You wrote:
> >Why does the Green Man tell Severian that Agia can be found  "above
> Since the Green Man can supposedly see into the future, and we have
> Severian's future in hand, the Green Man's phrase may relate to the mine
> Saltus (which is the next place Severian will see her--"above ground" on
> the surface rather than "under ground" in the mine shaft), or, since this
> seems rather weak, it may refer to the widow's cabin in the mountains,
> where Agia comes down the stairs from the attic where she was
> hiding--definitely "above ground."
> Still later, she comes down from the sky on a winged thing and plucks him
> up from behind enemy lines--come to think of it, that was "above ground,"
> too.
> Or maybe the Green Man is just bluffing.
> =mantis=

Thanks for the welcome.  I'm an admirer of your book too by the way.

All of the suggested explanations you made had occurred to me, but none of
them really seem right, do they?  I have read TBNS several times (it is the
Book of Gold for me too, as for many others), and have always found this
exchange puzzling.  Since the scene is a crucial one - Severian then gives
the Green Man the stone that will help him escape his imprisonment, and the
Green Man is later among those who saves Severian in repayment - it seems
odd that this exchange should be so meaningless.  For some reason I was
reminded of it when Apheta and the other hierogrammates were said to live
underground on Yesod in The Urth of the New Sun, only being allowed to
venture to the surface as a reward (also puzzling, for me at least).

Maybe, as you say the Green Man is bluffing - but surely a bluff would be
more specific and less unhelpful than telling Severian that Agia is exactly
where she would be expected to be ie "above ground".  Similarly, if the
Green Man is trying to help, then his advice is not at all helpful to
Severian escaping Agia's later attempts at assassination, or at least so it
seems to me.  And in any event, he is responding to a question as to where
Agia is now, rather than at some time in the future.  Yet presumably the
Green Man's words have some positive impact on Severian, because he gives
him the stone thereafter.  So I remain perplexed!


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

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