(urth) Eyes of Thecla

mournings glory mourningsglory at hotmail.com
Tue May 2 10:52:22 PDT 2006

> > I don't know of any other characters who are
> > described as having very large
> > violet or purple eyes

>I don't have my books with me, but Noctua, who is the
>naviscaput's daughter, has violet eyes, as does
>Valeria. There are more that I can't recall, but I
>think you are right that they're related in some way.

>Ah, yes, Katharine, Severian's mother, also has violet

Mr. Doggett:

Either you're misremembering, have a variant text, or I'm looking in all the 
wrong places.

Noctua is "luminous of eye" "and the light that is in them is not of Urth" 
-- "she, whose eyes held starlight."

Katharine, meanwhile, is "dark of complexion, dark of eye" -- like her son, 
who has brown eyes. (Genetically, there is no way a violet-eyed mother and a 
blue-eyed Ouen could have a child with brown eyes.)

As for Valeria, "She had dark, curling hair, like Thecla's, but her eyes 
were dark too. Thecla's were violet." Here Severian deliberately contrasts 
the two women's eye color. (Perhaps, in Valeria's paraphrase of "I am all 
the daughters of my father's house, And all the brothers too," you are 
confusing her with Twelfth Night's Viola -- whose name indeed suggests 

Two others, however, come a little closer to violet, if not all the way 

Apheta's eyes are "large and luminous and of the deep, deep blue of her sea, 
unfaded by age." While the little girl Sev encounters in the antechamber of 
the House Absolute has "sparkling midnight eyes."

So it seems b sharp's original assertion is still correct.


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