(urth) BotNS in German
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
\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
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