(urth) Two tombs

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 7 04:45:14 PDT 2006

Roy says:
>One bit of information comes from when Sev placed the skull before the
>closed door of the drowned mausoleum. (URTH, 335) He said that the flood 
>closed the long-jammed door, "having completed a motion begun perhaps a
>century ago." That implies that someone was messing around in the mausoleum
>something like thirty years before he was born. I assume that a body (or
>two) was removed. Who did it and why? But what I would really like to know
>is, *where are the bodies*?
>It is possible that each of the five coffins at one time held the body of
>the same man -- Severian, from one or another of his incarnations. He was
>forever getting himself killed.

I've thought about that but somehow the pieces don't seem to fit together.  
How many times does Severian die in the text? He says the first Severian 
didn't drown while swimming, and neither did he, because of Juturna. He 
postulates that the skull he found underwater was a boy who drowned in his 
place, then he puts the skull at the threshold of the now closed mausoleum 
as Roy noted. I wish I could tell if that showed the death of an incarnation 
or not.

He definitely died on the Sanguinary Field from his avern wound. As he dies 
he hears bells and sees the world as an Easter egg with all the artist's 
colors flashing. This is the only death where we have another observer to 
help us. Dorcas tells, "I remember seeing the leaf, a horrible thing like a 
flatworm made of iron, half in your body and turning red as it drank your 
blood.  Then it fell away. I don't know how to describe it.  It was as 
though everything I had seen had been wrong.  But it wasn't wrong. I 
remember what I saw."

What happened there? Maybe it was it the nascent power of his claw/star 
working to shift time back a little, to where the avern didn't fully 
penetrate?  Doesn't seem like an eidolon could have been created and 
Severian's dead body spirited away without the crowd and Dorcas seeing.

His death in the flood in the throne room seems to me to be the last gasp of 
his claw/star resurrection power.  Again there are bells which have rung, 
though he sees only blue color this time.  That sort of resurrection 
wouldn't leave a body.

He definitely dies and leaves a body on Tzadkiel's ship and as Apu Punchau 
so if somebody is collecting his old bodies and putting them in the 
mausoleum, that would account for two coffins.  Anyone have thoughts on the 


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