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Date: Thu, 01 Aug 2002 19:20:54 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) The Ascian's Shadow
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 8/1/02 10:35 AM, James Wynn at crushtv@HotPOP.com wrote:

> "Shadows" in tBotNS represent the NEW SUN and the new order and future it
> brings. Only Severian is affirmed by the sun symbol

One of the Ascian's sayings also alludes to shadow imagery: "Behind
everything some further thing is found forever; thus the tree behind the
bird, stone beneath soil, the sun behind Urth." (ch. XI; p. 80, Timescape,
ed.)  This can't be an accident on Wolfe's part, though I don't know what
its significance is.

Some of the Ascian's other remarks also seem to have a wider significance:

"How are the hands nourished?  By the blood.  How does the blood reach the
hands?  By the veins.  If the veins are closed, the hands will rot away,"
(Ibid.) which Foila interprets as a reference to roads; whether intentional
on the Ascian's part or not, this can be taken as a criticism of the
Autarch's policy of closing the roads.

"[A] brave woman desires children, and not husbands." (ch. V, p. 33)  Sure
enough, very few of the women we meet in TBotS desire husbands; even Foila
doesn't seem that eager to marry, despite organizing the storytelling
contest herself.

The longish paragraph which Foila interprets as meaning that the stories by
the skill of their telling, not their content, may be Wolfe's ironic comment
on his own reception.



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