(urth) General Observation on Lupinologists (was Re: Urth before Earth)

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 11:19:58 PDT 2006

B writes...

... after some stuff I generally agree with on method ...

> Regarding Father Inire, I've always wondered about him, but if you'd
> asked me a year ago I would have said I thought his only appearance
> is as the cowled servitor who guides Severian to the thiasus.

Now, you see, I'm not even convinced of _that_ (though, as
always, I'm willing to be convinced). I think Father Inire is a
deliberate (on Wolfe's part) _absence_ in the BotNs. Play with
presence/absence seems to me to be part of the Book's overall
thematic. Thecla is the absence who is always present with
Severian (even before the alzabo feast); I suspect that Inire is
the presence who is always absent, someone who always has
influence on every event but is never present at any event.

Robert Borski's theorizing is always fascinating, but there are
times when I think he is deliberately seeing how far he can
push things rather than following any strict textual method.

> .... a light on what I've always thought of as the
> central mystery of this series- Severian's family tree.

Well, certainly _a_ central mystery. We have reasonable certainty
of the identity of his mother and maternal grandparents, but his
paternal line seems pretty obscure. Candidates seem to include
Father (thus the name, hint hint) Inire, the Autarch, one of the
Masters of the Guild, and -- in the "send in the clones" scenario
-- Typhon, or perhaps more accurately Typhon's father, and probably
all sorts of people I haven't named. Vodalus? Why not?

I'd love to see some serious _textual_ evidence for _someone_
as Sev's father! I'd be particularly interested if (as you say) it
helps explain why the eschatus and regenesis were necessary.

Note: I don't put much trust in thematic evidence without a clear
textual basis for it. If I can see a nearly-complete pattern in the
text that supports a theme, and X, though there's no direct
evidence for it, is the only element that fits the pattern, well,
that's a special case.

As, of course, are _my_ thematic theories. 8*)

So anyway, the pattern you establish later in your note -- about
Inire, Fechin, Rudesind and the boatman -- is fine as far as it goes,
but it's all based on a pattern that seems to me to be perceived
before the fact, and the characters assigned to the pattern. I'd need
to see that the pattern was present in the text waiting to be
discovered, and I just don't see that.

I mean -- are they "connected" by these various things? Of course;
but being connected by some thematic link doesn't mean they're
the same person.

> Borski seems to view Inire as a Moses-like guide for the people of Urth,
> guiding them to the promised land of Ushas (hmph, some salvation).

Keep in mind that the entire generation of Israelites Moses led out
of Egypt died in the desert without so much as a glimpse of the
Promised Land. The cost of Ushas is very like that paid by the

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, writer, trainer, bon vivant
"Shovels are essential to the fantasy genre.
However, they are primarily used by the authors rather than the
characters." -- Stephen R. Donaldson

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