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Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 08:18:39 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) eponymous time travel

One of the biggest obstacles to my hackneyed (to the point of exhaustion) 
short sun interpretation is proving that Silk/Horn can move through time, and 
specifically proving that Rigoglio/Roger has some reason for traveling to the 
particular time of Severian from the far future.  I have done the whole 
"return to the past through dreams", "my travels are dreams", "mother's song 
is one of time" thing, but that doesn't seem enough to rationalize why.  My 
only other defense (previously) was that if we think the Neighbors have moved 
on but are still around, then have they gone through time? (it is a higher 
dimension, after all).  If you say that Blue is not Urth, where have these 
neighbors gone, and why did they come back?  I say it is, and that they once 
lived on Urth/Blue. 
But here is something new:

Here is an interesting quote from Chapter XIX of Shadow of the torturer: The 
botanic gardens:
"'supposing him - we turn at this corner, Severian, you may see the head of 
the stair, if you'll look, there where the STATUES OF THE EPONYMS stand - 
supposing him to have lived, he was by definiton the Master of Power.  Which 
means the transcendence of reality, and includes the negation of time.  Isn't 
that correct?'
I nodded.
'Then there is nothing to prevent him, from a position, say, of thirty tousand 
years ago, coming into what we call the present.  Dead or not, if he ever 
existed, he could be around the next bend of the street or the next turn of 
the week." (Shadow and Claw, 119)

Notice that this is the entrance to the Botanic Gardens, where time is negated 
and Isongoma and the missionaries can be seen due to the bending reflection of 
time (remember that Father Inires mirrors, based on reflection, can summon 
things from different times and places).  
Remember how I couldn't account for how the red light of Urth could be seen 
from Blue in that one chapter?  doesn't that sound like the principle behind 
Inire's mirrors (remember that one short sun story in Endangered Species about 
the doll and the cat in the mirrors?) where light is reflected on itself and 
produces weird things?
Also, remember what Rigoglio says as soon as he gets to Urth? "THE EPONYMS".  
I propose that the eponyms exist in a metanymic relationship to the botanic 
gardens - they are responsible for its time bending properties - and note how 
they are thrown in the middle of the discussion above about the negation of 
time.  Wolfe likes to put two apparently unrelated things together to 
associate them.
The eponyms may provide some precedent for the bending of time - and it is the 
first thing that Rigoglio says when he gets there.  How else can we explain 
the properties of the Botanic gardens?  I am saying they may have some kind of 
time bending property, and that this bending may be responsible for some of 
the light that can be seen "from a different time".  Note that even though 
Severian and Agia can see the missionaries, only the primitive can sense them.
While this is not definitive or clear, I think it establishes a nice 
synchronic theme.  Here are some of the points of contiguity between Shadow 
and the Short Sun books in which small details become important:
Missing guard at the gate explained
eponym statues
Rudesind's explanation of the moon and its forest and its new closeness to 
Triskelle (???)
Scylla in the harbor
Green Man's evolution

Anything else interesting about the eponyms in the text?  I think they show up 
near the Vatic fountain in Claw, but I need to check for sure.
Marc Aramini


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