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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) The Ascian's Shadow
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 10:35:47 -0500

>>>Matthew malthouse wrote:
>>>As an allusion to the shadow of the torturer it seems inapt or perhaps
>>>ironic: the Ascians seem to have no lack of tortuers despite the
>>>"perfection" of the rule of the Group of Seventeen.
That is an -excellent-- point! Except the title is not "The Shadow of **A**
Torturer", it is "The Shadow of THE Torturer".

Is it "The Sword of the Lictor" where Severian describes the proper
procedure in a public execution as requiring that he cast his shadow on the
condemned (IIRC)? All Commonwealth torturers follow that ritual. All beings
on Urth cast shadows - even the Ascians and their torturers. Only for
Severian does his interposition before the Sun constitute a symbol.

"Shadows" in tBotNS represent the NEW SUN and the new order and future it
brings. Only Severian is affirmed by the sun symbol and only he --the NEW
Sun-- in coming ordinally and chronologically after the old Sun, brings
death (in his shadow) as well as life (ie. All the people killed in the
Deluge). That is Erebus' and Abia's hold on the New Sun's enemies - that the
New Sun will destroy everything.

So.... The Ascians are shadowless. They repudiate the "shadow" (i.e. the
destruction and change) of the New Sun, thus they serve (i.e. are "under")
Erebus (the TOTAL Darkness of Death).

-- Crush


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