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Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 16:46:09 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) cliff + island of the sleeper

In Return to the Whorl, the narrator scales a huge cliff over the towers of 
the inhumu while he is being attacked.  He comes to the top to see a black 
domelike hut, and a man with a colorless cloak and a stiff legged gait (like a 
bird) comes to him.  Then the scene ends.

I propose that this high cliff is the place where the island of the Sleeper at 
the end of Urth of the New Sun is located.  Severian's been hanging out there 
for a long time.  I re-read that section and noticed something peculiar about 
the imagery.  Severian's priest only eats a bite or two, while Severian gorges 
himself.  Could the priest already have a few chloroplasts in his blood? (As I 
believe Silk does - but he is not yet saturated enough to be green - but 
remember how he sickens and wilts in the winter when there is limited 
sunlight?)  The flood waters left this cliff as an island at the end of Urth 
of the New Sun, and Severian must have taken a liking to it.  
On this island, Severian comments that he was an apprentice time-traveler, but 
that the Green man was a Master.  Of course the vanished people must have 
access to the corridors of time - where else could they go?

If Severian is on Green, then that probably isn't him on Blue (barring a 
doubling that perhaps will be discussed here by another poster) touching the 
forehead of Horn in the pit.  If that isn't him, then I propose that a 
neighbor is created in the pit when Horn bleeds in it (lying dead for three 
days, note, as Christ does before his resurrection) and Horn is awakened in a 
transfigured state (doubled - one of him, and one vanished person named 
"horn".)  Notice that the eucharist is invoked twice - once to indicate the 
communion between man and the mechanical world, once to indicate the communion 
between man and the natural world.

Then what about the "immortal" four armed inhumu coming onto the boat at 
night?  Some have argued it is an aspect of the mother - I disagree.  I 
thought it might have been Severian because of the claim that Horn makes about 
it being someone who "thought" he was favored by the gods but then returned to 
the ocean for lack of better things to do.  Now I think it may be a neighbor 
created by the blood of the pirate woman that Horn shoots immediately before 
that scene - her corpse falls in the water, and her blood is used to create a 
ready made vanished person.  Unless Severian has been doubled.  And it 
wouldn't be the first time, would it?

Marc Aramini


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