(urth) Re: Sulpicius
rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 4 20:35:53 PDT 2004
There's a lot more to be troubled about in this. Because at least one of the
previous Autarchs bouncing around in there is Severian himself, who at that
point would have already been through all of the events described in the New
Sun and also have (within his own memories) the echoes of all the other
This is not necessarily a complete snake-eating-its-tale scenario, however.
We know that Severian's memory causes him to get a deeper effect from the
alzabo. My guess is that everyone else, having a normal human memory, would
not receive or transmit a precise copy of the memories picked up from their
predecessor. As a result, what ends up coming to Severian by way of Appian
is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy... what he perceives of the traces
of his own memory in this is faded and confusing; events which he knows have
already happened take on the appearance of having been through them more
than once (case in point is the scene at the beginning where he almost
drowns, and his later reflections on it), and events which haven't happened
yet seem to him to be presentiments of what's to come.
Another possibility that has occurred to me is that perhaps his memory has
never been perfect at all. He has perhaps been given the illusion of perfect
memory by having received an infinite number of very-faded copies. For this
time travelling thing involves an infinite regress - however many copies of
his own memories he receives from Appian, he ends up transmitting that
number plus one to one of his predecessors earlier on in the timeline. An
infinite number of imperfect copies laid on top of each other may appear to
have perfect clarity, and yet contain errors...
Just dabbling with ideas a bit,
>I've always wondered: aren't there WAY more subsumed personalities in the
>personage of the Autarch than there have been Autarchs? Don't know what to
>do with that. Unless Ymar or someone requested a democratic buffet of
>brains in order to best serve his subjects.
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