(urth) Baldanders

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Fri May 19 00:55:31 PDT 2006

Dan'l said:
>Nonetheless: I don't buy Baldanders as a Megatherian. He's
>a human who is attempting to follow their pattern for immortality.
>I don't have copy here to refer to but I'm deeply certain of it, if
>only because it fits the moral structures (and strictures) of the
>Urth cosmology so well.

Sure, the two assertions (about the nature of Abaia and Baldanders, 
respectively) don't necessarily stand together. On the other hand I think 
the case is relatively strong that even if Baldanders didn't start out as 
one of them, he nonetheless ends up with them. But again: who says that 
Abaia & co. started out the way they are now? The only thing we have about 
their origin is from a fairy tale, and even that...

But in any event I remember a very strong impression from my reading of 
those chapters of Lictor that the entire thing was verging on an overt 
metaphor for oppressive states - so much so that I considered the 
possibility that Wolfe intended us to see it as having been fictionalized by 
Severian. A little cautionary tale from the aspiring writer.

> > 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? Thematically it makes
>some sense, but it also makes thematic sense that at least some
>_do_ survive

Well, I did simplify there. Thematically what makes the *most* sense, given 
the cyclical nature of the timeline (presented in Eschatology & Genesis and 
hinted at by the Hierodules), is that they survive in a sense, but as seeds 
that will grow over time (in the same way the originals supposedly did). 
This also has the advantage of adding a little sense to Talos's comment I 
quoted earlier - their proximity to the end of the cycle means that their 
echoes will reach the "past" similar to the way things past echo into the 

The fact that the undines are present both at the beginning and the end of 
the cycle I think points to an important difference between them and the 
megatherians. I do not read them as simply the creatures or servants of 

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