(urth) Piteous Gate- one last rehash
bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Mon May 15 08:29:44 PDT 2006
>I'm not sure your particular quote bolsters that idea in any fashion.
>You're assuming, I believe, that "afterward" comes relatively soon after
>the avern episode, whereas I believe it's referring to "after" the Saltus
>fair, when Severian and Jonas are attacked by Hethor's notules."
I must respectfully disagree that Severian could be refering to events after
Saltus Fair such as the man-ape cave, the notule attack, the antechamber
slug and the salamander. If he were, Severian's and Agia's exchange would
Agia: I've been trying to kill you since the Saltus Fair.
Severian: Liar, you've been trying to kill me since the Saltus Fair.
Which makes no sense. He must be refering to an attempt or attempts before
Saltus Fair but after the avern duel. I think the only legitimate objection
to my analysis would be if there was another plausible attempt on Severian's
life in that time period. I don't have my books here but the episodes in
that time frame I remember are: Severian in the recovery room, Severian
with Agia and Agilus in his cell, the execution, walking with Dorcas,
performing the Talos play, packing up the play properties and then walking
to the Piteous Gate.
The only other candidates for murder attempts in this period I can think of
are very weak: 1. In the cell, Agia attacks Severian scratching at his
eyes, and grabbing at his sabretache. 2. Later, as they are walking toward
the Piteous Gate, Hethor asks if he can carry Severian's sword. I don't
think it is in Hethor's repertoire to be swinging swords. But if Hethor
knows an attack is coming soon, I can see why he would want to take Terminus
Est from Severian.
Severian phrases his statements in the exchange to knock her off balance (as
he has physically, a couple times) by calling her a liar after she has told
the truth. I think Wolfe's purpose is much the same, to knock his reader
off balance so the solution to one puzzle (Piteous Gate) is masked by the
solution to another (the source of the creatures).
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