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From: matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 11:56:33 +0100
Subject: Re: (urth) The Ascian's Shadow

On 02/08/2002 01:20:54 Adam Stephanides wrote:

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

It may be so.  The Autarch in explaining to Severian says that the policy
is bad, deliberately fostering stagnation. Yet the implication is that the
Ascian's progress is a chimera (it may be explicit, I haven't the book
with me today).

The Autarch speaks of human kind going again to the stars when it can
carry with it some "wholeness". The Ascian's progress will not achieve
this aim but I don't see how the stagnation of the Commonweatlth fosters



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