(urth) Hierodules and time

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Fri May 26 06:14:26 PDT 2006

On Fri, 26 May 2006 22:50:58 +1000 b sharp 
<bsharporflat at hotmail.com> wrote:
>Thalassocrat I think it is simpler than all that.  F, B and O move 

>backward in time, virtually without exception (which marks them as 

>pawns, in 
>Tzadkiel's chess analogy).
>Their first meeting with Severian is on Tzadkiel's ship.  They go 
>back in 
>time to meet him as Autarch a number of times, they go back to 
>meet him in 
>Baldander's castle, then go back to watch him in Eschatology and 
>then go back to find him as Apu Punchau.  They (F and B anyway) 
>know the 
>least on Tzadkiel's ship and they know the most in Apu Punchau's 

No, it doesn't work like that. As I pointed out, they know about 
the E&G incident at the time they meet Sev at Baldanders' castle. 
Sword Ch33, Barbatus to Dr Talos: "We could have killed your 
creator easily enough that night, as you know. We burned him only 
enough to turn aside his charges." And as I also pointed out, at 
this stage they know *both* the past (this incident) and the future 
(dealings with Sev when he is Autarch). Any solution to the 
conundrum isn't going to be simple.

>I take this to mean, in our current context,  that if Wolfe didn't 

>use a 
>"deus ex machina" storyteller's trick (Ossipago's role) then he 
>would have 
>had to leave out the "backwards in time" nature of Hierodules.  
>And the 
>story would have been worse. And he is, first and foremost, a 

I really don't see the relevance of the well-known Roger Rabbit 
quote to the Hierodule/time issue, sorry, and I can't really see 
the putative role of Ossipago as a "deus ex machina" device, as the 
term is usually understood. 

>There is a reference to using "deus ex machina" (he only alludes 
>to this 
>phrase) tricks in the text of BotNS.  Something like:  "only the 
>playwrights use them, but it is better to use them than have the 
>play end 
>badly".  I've been looking for it but for the life of me I can't 
>find it 
>again.  Help somebody! Roy? Anybody!!!!

It's aquastor-Malrubius to Sev, at the end of botNS.

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