(urth) golden Severa etc.

mournings glory mourningsglory at hotmail.com
Mon May 15 13:47:10 PDT 2006

>From: "b sharp" <bsharporflat at hotmail.com>

>Borski addresses the issue of the missing sister, Severa.  He discards the
>often promoted candidate Merryn, and other lesser candidates such as
>Morwenna, the Mandragora and Thais.

For the longest time I was an advocate of the Morwenna-as-Severa theory and 
have posted so before, but on my last read through I concluded she was more 
likely related to Manahen and his father, both herdsmen -- as Severian tells 
us Morwenna's father is. Plus there's the Morwenna-Manahen cryptonym pair.

(Lots of these the aforementioned author missed, perhaps the most salient of 
which is alzabo/abo.)

Jolenta I'm still thinking about. She's been completely transmogrifed from 
waitress to diva, so she may not be so much dumb as full of herself -- plus 
if she's modeled on Marilyn Monroe, who was actually quite smart, she might 
just be enacting a stereotype. But I've also found two other items of 
support that I don't believe anyone, including Mr. Borski, has mentioned 

One comes from the play, Eschatology and Genesis. At one point the 
Inquisitor tells the Familiar, "Bring in the woman said to be a witch, 
Brother." To which the Familiar responds, "The Contessa waits outside, and 
as she is of exalted blood, and a favorite of our sovereign's, I beg you to 
see her first." Indeed, the Contessa -- played by Jolenta -- is presented 
first, but if she really is Severa the Inquisitor's command has actually 
been obeyed, if ironically so.

Then there's a passage about Agia and Agilus, and following the latter's 

"From far away came a scream, Agia's voice as unmistable as *a face seen by 
lightning.* Something in its timbre made me feel she had not been watching 
at all, but had known nevertheless when her twin died."

Now compare this to Severian's description of Jolenta after the events in 
the stone town:

"Our mounts were gone. On the roof, so were the witches; Dorcas, alone, bent 
over the body of Jolenta. *By lightning, I saw the dead face* of the 
waitress who had served Dr. Talos, Baldanders, and me in the café in 

>In its stead I'll hint that Borski has missed a character who is decribed 
>unequivocally golden terms.  He has several pieces of gold jewelry and
>golden hair (and blue eyes).  Follow-up in my next post.

Gold jewelrey might be more of an accoutrement than gold hair; I believe 
it's Dr. Talos -- who obviously could not be a relative -- also carried a 
gold walking stick. And you don't mean blond, as opposed to gold, do you? 
Now you've got my curiosity up...

em (who wonders how Marilyn Monroe, with a six-toed foot, did the "This 
little piggy went to the market" bit.)

More information about the Urth mailing list