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Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 09:51:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paul Duggan 
Subject: (urth) Future passed in the New Sun

>> JJ: Is Briah our universe? Or is that a universe that resurrected
>> saints have set up in the world to come as part of the cities that
>> they made?

>> GW: No. I thought of it as a long past universe. Something that we are
>> repeating rather than something that we are.

>Wolfe said this?  I'm quite surprised, even shocked.  I'm pretty much 
> of an intentionalist, but (without having reread all the books) this
> strikes me as a pointless complication with no textual warrant.  The
> Appendix to SHADOW (the only one I have on hand at the moment) even says
> that the book takes place in the future.  Of course, the "author" of the
> appendix could be wrong, but again this seems like a pointless
> complication.  And didn't Wolfe say in another interview that the
> Commonwealth was South America?

But remeber, the text of the Book of the New Sun came into the hands of
Gene Wolfe *after* Severian wrote it and threw it into space in the lead
coffer. Wolfe is just the translator. So Severian wrote in the "distant
past" prior universe and the manuscript survives the singularity (!) and
Wolfe then gets it and tranlastes it

All references to "the future" should just be taken as refering to how
Severian is in the future of where "we are" in the past universe's
timeline (since the timelines are amazingly similar).

My only objection to this is theological, in that the theoanthropos then
comes to save everybody at least 2 if not more times. But its just a

Paul Duggan


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