(urth) Re: Sulpicius

mournings glory mourningsglory at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 4 12:43:57 PDT 2004

>From Jeff Wilson:

<Could it be that Sulpicius ordered that the room be kept for him until he 
came back, as long as necessary, and they have simply followed the order, 
since no other Autarch has bothered to withdraw it? Or perhaps it 
foreshadows the memory-transfer, since Sulpicius live on in his successors?>

Agree, but with some modification.

Perhaps Sulpicius, knowing what lays ahead of him (he will be eaten by his 
successor, though his memories will survive), has merely sought to ensure 
that one of the places he likes most in the world will survive and that he, 
via his new host, will still be able to visit it and savor his favorite 
books post-corporally. Thecla, after all, "returns" to the House Absolute 
and at times her presence is so dominant she takes over the narrative as 
well as Severian's body language (iirc he's mistaken for a woman a number of 
times). Sulpicius may thus be hoping he'll be able to return to the library 
and even be recognized as Sulpicius if he can channel himself through 
strongly enough. Ultan's riff about how this is not yet happened may speak 
to the ill-fated poignancy of this notion. Nevertheless, his 
300-year-old-edict remains still operational.

There's also a nice bit of irony here: Severian, as Sulpicius's future host, 
*has* come to the library, foreshadowing both Sulpicius's return and 
Severian's own rise to the Phoenix Throne. Plus the entire notion of the 
Autarchy as a huge collective volume of personalities, with each chapter 
representing a different Autarch's life.


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