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Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 10:17:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Straight 
Subject: Re: (urth) revelatory message/converting dislike

On Thu, 30 May 2002, Adam Stephanides wrote:

> on 5/28/02 3:19 PM, Jerry Friedman at jerry_friedman@yahoo.com wrote:
> > As long as we're criticizing these books, I remember that in his
> > interview with Nick Gevers, Wolfe said that Severian shows up because
> > he was like the gun on the wall that has to be fired (but Wolfe forgot
> > to give credit to Chekhov).
> That comment struck me as strange.  The idea seemed to be that if two books
> are set in the same universe and the protagonists can possibly meet, they
> have to do so (as if Balzac were required to have all the protagonists of
> his Comedie Humaine meet each other).  I certainly wouldn't have feot
> cheated if Severian had never appeared in the Short Sun books.

I agree with you, but I remember before the SS series came out, there was
quite a bit of speculation on this list about whether Severian would
appear in the next book, whether Severian might in some way be identified
with the Outsider, etc.

And given Severian's abilities to walk the corridors of time it wasn't
hard to believe he could somehow show up on Blue.  I think it's fun that
Wolfe turned that presumption on its head.  

And also that it creates a sort of circle.  One should read the New Sun
series first, but the bits with Severian at the end of RTTW lead right
back into the New Sun series, and in fact prompted me to give the New Sun
books a re-read after I'd finished RTTW, which I greatly enjoyed.



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