(urth) Baldanders

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Thu May 18 17:39:21 PDT 2006

Dan'l wrote:
>So why does he have a monster-name? Because he isn't
>human _anymore_. The convention is not one of the
>Commonwealth, after all; it's Wolfe's, a way of cluing us in
>to who's a monster and who isn't, part of the fiction of his

I agree that Baldanders was just a man, at least to start with. On the last
day of Urth, Severian saw him and thought he "was grown too large for me to
think him human ever again, his face heavier still and more misshapen, his
skin as white as that of the water woman who had once saved me from
drowning." (URTH, 302)

>> attempts to control his growth could keep him above surface without
>> collapsing under his own weight for only so long - and takes his place
>> under the water. The deluge that follows wipes the historical slate
>> clean, leaving no apparent Abaia or Baldanders, only the primordial
>> undines who themselves seem to be seen in a different light at that
>> point.
>I do wonder about this. Is there any specific (textual) reason to
>suppose that the Megatherians, at least some of them, _don't_
>survive the coming of the White Fountain?

None that I know of. As for Baldanders, just as the flood hit the throne
room, these were his final lines in the story: "I will not drown,"
Baldanders rumbled. "And the rest do not matter. Save yourself if you can."

That leads me to believe he had no particular reason to fear the flood, and
that he believed he would survive it. We know Juturna did. Why wouldn't he?
The water had been his home for fifty years.


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