(urth) BotNS in German

Matthew Malthouse matthew.malthouse at ntlworld.com
Sun Dec 5 15:50:29 PST 2004

At 23:03 05/12/2004, you wrote:
>Autarch, I think, may be Wolfe's creation, though. It's 'Autarch' in the 
>German translation, too.

No, the meaning given in the book "self ruler" is actually very accurate 
and more literally accurate than the usual meaning given of sole or single 
ruler.  Or perhaps ruler of the whole contrast Tetrach, ruler of a fourth 
part.  It's the form that Wolfe uses that is odd

Autarchy is a political system governed by a single individual, also 
autarky and autocracy.

There is a wonderful Lupine irony there because the Autarch is not singular 
but legion.

\Au"tar*chy\, n. [Gr. ? independence; a'yto`s self + 'arkei^n to be 
Self-sufficiency. [Obs.] --Milton.


Now it's interesting to me that the alternative "monarch" which started 
with the same political meaning, the rule of one, would not have the same 
weight because subsequent changes in the office mean that, at least in the 
West, remaining monarchs are emphatically not autarchs there not having 
been a working autocracy since the fall of the Tzars.

Yes Wolfe does use the word monarch.  He uses it colloquially "monarch of 
bears" as we might say "king of beasts" - Wolfe does not have people of 
Urth describe Severian as "king" but the cacogens use that word for 
him.  Then monarch occurs in Severian's dream of Master Malrubius where he 
is asked to set out the forms of government and again in describing 
Typhon.  Perhaps perversely it seems that both instances one is intended to 
read absolute ruler as in autarch rather than the new-fangled 
constitutional variety so I suppose that these monarchs, the first abstract 
the second historic, are so called to distinguish them from the Autarch of 
the Commonwealth.


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