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Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 07:35:15 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) passion play and the weight of evidence

My best explanation for the cleansing of the sewers is that it is a passion 
play that re-enacts the story of the conciliator, just as eschatology and 
genesis was a passion play that foretold how the events of Urth of the New Sun 
would run, passed on from Canog's book.  It is distorted, but valid 
thematically, and it serves as a message from the vanished people to Horn 
about how the planet reached its current condition - a necessary flood.

Also, if a ship has the ability to reach back in time, like the ship Severian 
takes by moving through space in UOTNS, then can't Silk in his astral travel 
go through the same "white hole" or whatever to go back in time in his 
travels?  There you go: he travels far enough away to pass through that 
dying/gestating black/white hole, and the red light he seeks is through that 
barrier.  Since he travels with light, of course he is drawn to the spiritual 
birth of the New Sun.

Here are some more parallels that we should consider:

In the second chapter of OBW, they talk of the silver mines that have been 
found, probably where the special ring of Silkhorn was found or forged.  Could 
this be the mine of Saltus where that ancient "thing" was sleeping that 
Severian woke up?  Could the ring that allows resonance with the vanished 
people be a product of that ancient (perhaps vegetative or scientifically 
experimental but forgotten by Urth) awareness (remember that Hide can see the 
Vanished person on a tree floating where none previously was to be seen at the 
end of RTTW when he peers through the ring)?

The underwater wall that surrounds the huge city Seawrack speaks of: evidence 
of a flood.

The abilty of Green to affect the tide at its closest.

The statement by Krait that the most obvious truths are the ones that are 
paradoxical or impossible: how can Urth be Blue if the narrator is in both 
places? A pretty big paradox, eh?

This great statement, which I leave to all of you:

From chapter 2 of OBW:
They see the whorl, but with the eyes of potatoes.

No offense, of course.

Trees on the moon.  A flood.  Meetings with a man known to cross through time 
freely, a man who in one of his travels met Typhon.

The importance of plant hybridization to the text.

I'm done.  I'm satisfied. Let me just say this: Wolfe won't tell me whether my 
ideas are wrong about Urth being Blue, but he just avoids the question and is 
otherwise very, very friendly to me.  I think he is proud of hiding Urth as 
Blue: remember what remora said at the beginning of OBW: everything was 
revealed in the long sun whorl, but that in the short sun everything is hidden 
and obscured.  I argue that the biggest vanishing act is that done to Urth: 
while it is still a big huge blue planet with a green satellite (that most 
thought would be Urth at first, but where then disappointed when it was 
revealed that it was contiguous with the beginning of the New Sun text), Wolfe 
has managed to hide it from us.  At least some of us.

Marc Aramini


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