(urth) Piteous Gate- one last rehash

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Sun May 14 22:12:13 PDT 2006

By George, I think b's got it.

On 5/14/06, b sharp <bsharporflat at hotmail.com> wrote:
> In the vaults of this archinve there has been a fair amount of discussion
> centered on the disturbance at the Piteous Gate that ends Shadow.  I had
> always felt it was something mysterious and worth knowing, as did some
> others. Mantis and Tony Ellis and perhaps others argued vehemently that it
> was merely the action of soldiers blocking the road and I think it was left
> at that.
> I found a passage which convinces me otherwise.  When Severian first talks
> to Agia in Casdoe's cottage in Sword, they have this exchange:
> S- "You've been trying to kill me ever since I glimpsed you in the crowd at
> Saltus"
> A- " Is that an accusation?  Yes."
> S- "You're lying."
> A- "What do you mean?"
> S- "Only that you were trying to kill me before Saltus"
> A- "With the avern. Yes, of course"
> S- "And afterward. Agia, I know who Hethor is"
> I think this is author misdirection because on first reading I know I was
> then more interested in Severian's extended insight about Hethor.  But the
> first part of that sentence says that Agia (with Hethor's help implied)
> tried to kill Severian somewhere in the time between the avern duel and
> Saltus Fair, which she doesn't deny.
> I find no plausible setting for this attempt except the disturbance at the
> Piteous Gate.  So  Severian, in retrospect, has deduced that the cause of
> the disturbance, the appearance of some undescribed creature, was an attempt
> on his life by Agia and Hethor.   Is there another possible interpretation?
> -bsharp
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