(urth) Father Inire-Dorcas

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Fri May 26 01:08:07 PDT 2006

b sharp wrote:
>Regarding the tar stained boatman: He is responding to Severian's statement
>"I saw Malrubius" (under the water).  Why would the boatman (or Mantis)
>think "Malrubius" might refer to Dorcas if he were her husband?  But if you
>were Maxellindis' uncle, who has heard strange women's voices coming up
>the river, you might think "Malrubius" was one of their names.

It was nearly two years after the near-drowning when the Uncle heard the
voices from the river, after Severian became autarch, and that was the only
time he heard them. "Yes, I saw and I heard things. There was things in this
river I never saw before. Maxellindis, when she woke up and I told her about
it, said it was the manatees. They're pale in moonlight and look human
enough if you don't come too close. But I've seen 'em since I was a boy and
never been fooled once. And there was women's voices, not loud but big."
(CITADEL, chapter XXXVII) The boatman in SHADOW can't be the Uncle.

>Regarding Dorcas' dead husband-  After discussing his shop and Cas' death
>says an old acquaintance allows him to sleep in a loft; then "There isn't a
>piece of cloisonne in it, or a garment, or so much as a nail from the old
>shop". So I think he is sleeping above his old shop though he doesn't own
>anymore.  Thus Dorcas can easily find him and doesn't have to bring his
>body there.

After re-boarding the _Samru_, Severian didn't reach the Citadel until the
second day after seeing Dorcas at the old shop in the abandoned part of the
city. The Boatman was old and frail and had only a small boat. It wasn't
possible for him to live so far from the Gardens and keep up his near-daily
search for his wife. That's why he lived near the Gardens.


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