(urth) Baldanders

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Thu May 18 07:48:25 PDT 2006

Hoping to post correction of myself first ;).  Juturna has red eyes, not 
green.  Combining this with her white skin and hair (the green we learn is 
from algae) makes her and her kind true albinos I guess (like pet rabbits or 
lab rats?).

Regarding Baldanders, Chris writes:

>One of the cacogens says that "for your species" it is the only way to 
>extend life (or something along those lines). It is not entirely clear 
>whether they are addressing Baldanders, Severian or both. Nor is it 
>explicit whether "your species" = human.

It is Ossipago (of course! the bone grower and Baldanders' teacher) who 
first discusses growth as the way to restore youth.  Dr. Talos soon 
corroborates that Baldanders' biochemistry must be careful monitored and 
regulated so he doesn't grow too fast.  So Chris is bringing up the question 
of whether Severian and Baldanders are of the same species. There has been 
some disagreement on whether Baldanders is human or not in recent posts. 
Chris are you suggesting Severian might not be human or that Baldanders 

By the naming convention discerned by past masters of this archive, 
Baldanders is not an (urthly) human.  He is not named for a saint but rather 
a giant from Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings (Wolfe himself confirms this). 
  Wolfe also says:

>"I also gave the people and other beings in the book real names, with the 
>exception of the Ascian >who appears in The Citadel -- Loyal to the Group 
>Seventeen. As for the monsters' names, I simply >named them for monsters".

So Baldanders would seem to be either an "other being" or monster which may 
be the inspiration for some who feel he is a "baby Abaia". Nonetheless he 
seems to start out looking like a small man. There are some other characters 
from the stars who seem to appear as small men........

Chris also writes:

>As a separate question, would their statement be true of humans? Couldn't 
>you, say, cut your head off and put it on someone else's body if you were 
>really hard up?

By the naming conventions noted above, Typhon can't be human.  A description 
of the mythological Typhon: "Typhon's hundred, horrible heads touched the 
stars, venom dripped from his evil eyes, and lava and red-hot stones poured 
from his gaping mouths. Hissing like a hundred snakes and roaring like a 
hundred lions, he tore up whole mountains and threw them at the gods".  
Sounds awfully monstrous to me.

But Chris' last note really killed me:

>But in any event the passage seemed to me a sort of metaphorical reference 
>to expansionist states.

Now when faced with Baldanders growth/aging issues my 
biological/anthropological background leads me to think of epiphyseal bone 
plates and chromosome telomere length. Chris immediately thinks of Adam 
Smith and Karl Marx etc.? Fess up Chris,... economist?  political scientist?


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