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From: Dan Rabin <wolfe-lists@danrabin.com>
Subject: The Ring and the Claw
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 10:28:42 -0800

With respect to the recent discussion on Tolkien's influence on 
Wolfe, I'd like to propose that the Claw of the Conciliator is, in 
some respects, a Wolfean reversal of the One Ring:

The Ring is the lingering talisman of evil; the Claw is a talisman of good.
The Ring weighs Frodo down; the Claw sometimes presses Severian onward.
The Ring enslaves; the Claw heals.
The Ring makes invisible; the Claw gives light.
Frodo wants to conceal the Ring from its owner and destroy it; 
Severian wants to restore the Claw to its (perceived) owners and 
preserve it.
The Ring is secret; the Claw is (presumably) displayed on the altar 
of the Pelerines.

There are also similarities:

Both objects are accidentally acquired by the respective protagonists.
Both objects are a burden to their bearers.

I'm not sure that this list shows anything more than a shared 
"ancient talisman" motif, but I've always at least found Severian's 
sense of pressure from the Claw reminiscent of Frodo's experience 
with the Ring.

   -- Dan Rabin

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