(urth) Father Inire-Dorcas

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Fri May 26 05:07:18 PDT 2006

Roy, are you suggesting that every day, Dorcas' husband and Hildegrin put 
their boats on their backs and carried them up the Adamanian (what was that 
name?) stairs and past the Curator and through the Botanic Gardens and over 
to the Lake of Birds?  Or floated them in from Gyoll right through the 
averns? Surely the boats stayed in the lake all the time.

You make the good point that the drowning occurred before the "uncle" had 
his nixie experience. And I certainly respect your and Mantis' intuition 
that the tar stained boatman is Mr. Dorcas. Dorcas has a "newly built boat" 
which also connects to a tar-stained boatman.

One thing which might make the identity point moot, is that they might all 
be Father Inire. We are offered no physical description or name for 
Maxellindis' uncle which is suspicious for a character with that many lines. 
  Severian snidely notes that the guy only "calls himself the girl's uncle" 
(I hope that quote is right).  Not the strongest of clues but I think it 
sounds like our Lewis Carrollian Inire again.  Do you think our lamial 
Dorcas would be happy about Maxellindis? Small wonder she was happy to run 
off with Eata.

I still think the text strongly suggests that Dorcas' husband lives in their 
old shop though it is left vague (I think I know why, see below). If he is 
really Inire then your concern for the distance to travel becomes misplaced.

Within the House Absolute, Father Inire seems to have created a Secret House 
which is continuous or has instantaneous travel to Ultan' Library and 
Rudesind's art gallery and (Severian suspects) other places in the Citadel.  
There are hints these include the Witches Tower and The Atrium of Time and 
probably others (more on those hints in future posts).

I think it is a small leap of faith to think there are also connections to 
other key places in  Nessus, like the Botanic Gardens.  A connection to the 
House Azure would surely be a nice explanation for the mystery of where 
kaibits are from and how they (and Appian) get back and forth from the House 
Absolute (the name similarity also suggests the connection).

If my (hardly ironclad) case for Dorcas' husband being Father Inire is 
accurate then surely he would add one of his connections from their shop to 
his other special places.  Dorcas' husband seems so old and frail, it is 
difficult to imagine him walking every day from even a close-by house.  And 
how else would he end up (dead? sleeping?) in their shop down the river?

(and Don Dogget is correct about my scenario, Appian, being human, looks the 
same in all his roles.  Father Inire can shapeshift, but naturally [since he 
is a story character] there is ALWAYS some clue to reveal him)


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