(urth) Re: Sulpicius

Chris 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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