(urth) 'Doomed' multitudes

Tony Ellis tonyellis69 at btopenworld.com
Sun Apr 3 03:21:29 PDT 2005

I wrote, on the subject of Severian's victims being doomed:
>>No, they weren't. The multitudes would have continued to live their 
>>ordinary lives if Severian hadn't drowned them all.

Maru wrote:
>On a dying planet. With the most dehumanizing gov.'t ever 
>conceived poised to take over their lives, liberties, minds 
>(Abaia & co. ?) quite literally.

Abaia and co have *always* been poised to over the commonwealth. They
were poised when Severian left to be Tested, and when he comes back
70-odd years later the commonwealth is still there. We're even told that
Valeria's second marriage was a good thing because while she could take
care of the commonwealth 'he could take care of the Ascians.'

Baldanders says: "The armies of Erebus follow the waves, and all the
defeats they suffered at your husband's hands will be avenged." In what
way does 'all the defeats they suffered at your husband's hands' suggest
Abaia and co were poised to take over anything? 

Gunnie and the other sailors are shown both futures. If the Frozen Urth
future involves being horribly taken over by Abaia and co and everyone
being doomed, nobody mentions it. A lot of the sailors think it's a
future worth fighting for.

Nothing Master Ashe says suggests Abaia and co taking over either. If
anything he seems to think they're running out of options. 

>I am curious as to what your life is like if you can consider that 

Oh, come off it. What constitutes an 'ordinary life' is entirely
relative to time and place. The lives of the everyday people of the
commonwealth Severian meets are ordinary for the people living them. I
don't recall many of them saying "Wow, our lives are just so doomed and
awful, aren’t they? I wish a big wave would come along and drown me and
everyone I love." 

I wrote:
>Since a planet does have to be drowned to
>realise the potential of a handful of survivors in the New Sun future,
>think that's more important. 

Maru wrote:
>Not just a handful.  A handful prolfically reproducing to repopulate
>A 'handful' which will persist throughout periods of time that if you 
>even apprehended a smidgen of their yawning aeons...

That's still a handful, Maru. In the Frozen Urth future handfuls, at the
very least, are taken to new worlds where they can reproduce with quite
the same degree of hyperbole.

>Getting the idea of how many people have a chance to live should 
>Severian choose to sacrifice a few? 

Getting the idea that just as many, if not more, will live if he doesn't
sacrifice anyone at all?

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