(urth) Truth in eidolons

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Tue May 2 18:33:40 PDT 2006

Roy C. Lackey wrote:

> They also explained that the eidolon of Severian created by Tzadkiel went on
> to eventually achieve independent physical substantiality by eating,
> breathing and the like. Then they faded into the past. That's still okay, so
> long as they didn't travel too far into the past for the machine on their
> craft to sustain his new body. But Severian soon escaped from the tomb and
> went far into the future, to the beach on Ushas. Why didn't he dissolve to
> nothingness, like Malrubius? We were led to believe that after the New Sun
> arrived he lost most of his supernatural powers. What sustained his body on
> Ushas long enough for it to achieve substantiality?

It's arguable that the newly-breathing Apu Punchau left behind was the 
eidolon, while "Severian" was actually the "original". Or, it could be 
that when the light of the White Fountain restored his ability to 
traverse the Corridors, it also restored his flesh.

> Aquastor Malrubius had imparted certain information to Severian, including
> "The Key to the Universe". If, as both Malrubius and the Hierodules claimed,
> an eidolon's mind is created from the mind of another, then where does the
> eidolon's knowledge come from if not the mind of the person it was created
> from? How could the eidolon of Malrubius know *anything* not known to
> Severian? Godel would not approve.

IIRC, eidolons were used by intelligent machines to communicate with and 
teach uneducated people. It's simple to see that an  eidolon-projector 
takes appearances and behaviors from the minds of the audience, but the 
subject matter comes from the operator.

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
< http://www.io.com/~jwilson >

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