(urth) Severian on trial

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 21 09:21:49 PST 2005

1. He may be a psycho but he done what had to be done.
2. He took a liberty, but the end justifies the means.
3. He is evil and billions died cause of what he did.

There's another way of looking at it. Severian didn't TAKE the power of the
New Sun.  He was GIVEN that power. Furthermore he was given that power by
someone with rightful authority over it (one could argue). And with the
granting of that power (authority), was the responsibility of deciding how
to use it. He could have chosen not to bring the New Sun and then been
responsible for the rubbing out of humanity on Earth and the humanity unborn
(the Green Man and his civilization) and the hierodules uncreated (but would
he then be made a neutered autarch and the responsibility would have been
given to someone else?). Or he could have chosen to use the authority for
the reason it was given. In this sense is as senseless to accuse Severian of
murder as it is to accuse God of murder (speaking in a Judeo-Christian
sense). God gives life, he sustains life, so he cannot "rob" anyone of life;
he merely reclaims what is His own. The world of Severian only existed
because of the H intercession. If the world were to be eternally
dominated by Erebus and the Acians, would we be as concerned that Sev had
put an end to it?

So rather than Sev being an unthinking tool, he could be thoughtfully
yielding to what he sees as a rightful authority and using the authority 
have given him dutifully ("duty" implies that it is justly deserved) on
their behalf. Hmmmm....Perhaps there is more overlap between tBotNS and tWK
than I realized.

It seemed to me that we were on the verge of comparing Severian to
Ozymandias in "The Watchman" graphic novel (a profoundly fascist work). I
don't think they are at all similar.

~ Crush

Revelations 6:4-8
And there went out another horse that was red: and authority was given to
him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill
one another: and there was given to him a great sword....And I looked, and
behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell
followed with him. And authority was given unto them (Death and Hell) over
the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with
death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Rev 11:3-6 And I will give authority to my two witnesses...These have power
to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have
power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all
plagues, as often as they will.

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