(urth) red ,gold and Baldanders
bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Tue May 16 12:22:29 PDT 2006
mourning glory presents two bits of evidence that Jolenta is Sev's sister:
>One comes from the play, Eschatology and Genesis. At one point the
>Inquisitor tells the Familiar, "Bring in the woman said to be a witch,
>Brother." To which the Familiar responds, "The Contessa waits outside, and
>as she is of exalted blood, and a favorite of our sovereign's, I beg you to
>see her first." Indeed, the Contessa -- played by Jolenta -- is presented
>first, but if she really is Severa the Inquisitor's command has actually
>been obeyed, if ironically so.
>Then there's a passage about Agia and Agilus, and following the latter's
>execution: "From far away came a scream, Agia's voice as unmistable as *a
>face seen by lightning.* Something in its timbre made me feel she had not
>been watching at all, but had known nevertheless when her twin died."
>Now compare this to Severian's description of Jolenta after the events in
>the stone town: "Our mounts were gone. On the roof, so were the witches;
>Dorcas, alone, bent over the body of Jolenta. *By lightning, I saw the dead
>face* of the waitress who had served Dr. Talos, Baldanders, and me in the
Thanks for bringing those to attention! Both seem significant. The lightning
face echo is more convincing to me and I've not written off Jolenta as
Severa yet. On the other: the Contessa might be associated with Jolenta,
playing her, but she might also be related to a few other key characters who
might be connected the witches. More on that later.
On to yesterday's quiz:
>so who is the character decribed in unequivocally golden terms. He has
>several pieces of gold jewelry and
>golden hair (and blue eyes).
Very interesting guess, Dr. Talos. He does have that gold headed walking
stick and that could be relevant here. But he has red hair not golden. What
IS Dr. Talos anyway? Severian asks and is told "a homunculus". What is a
homunculus (latin for little man)?
Well, the alchemist Paracelsus' homunculus was a creation from "a bag of
bones, sperm, skin fragments and hair from any animal of which the
homunculus would be a hybrid. This was to be laid in the ground surrounded
by horse manure for forty days, at which point the embryo would form." Was a
fox actually involved with Talos? Um nah...? Baldanders is a real scientist.
300 years ago some true scientists felt that "each sperm was in fact a
"little man" (homunculus) that was placed inside a woman for growth into a
child;" This sounds more like cloning.
There are a couple references to Baldanders as Dr. Talos' father which
originally led me to believe that Baldanders cloned Talos from his own
cells. Now both are small men (originally) but I think Baldanders has dark
hair thatched with gray. Why would Talos come out with red hair? What other
gene source could have been used? Someone who is strong in all the ways
scientist Baldanders has weakness.
A few posts ago I tried to compile a list of red haired characters coming up
with, aside from Talos: Roche, Jolenta, Fechin and Daria. Let's add the
alzabo to that list for completeness.
A surprising amount of circumstantial evidence points to Fechin as a
candidate. Aside from having red hair he is from the right time frame (2-3
generations ago), and is probably from the right geography (north, near
Thrax and Lake Diuturna). Also to consider is the obvious artistic flair of
Talos and his ability to quickly convince a woman to do anything (leave your
job, undergo major surgery, cavort naked on stage, no problem!). His lack
of interest in money may also be Fechin-like.
Well, once you have created a zygote/embryo/homunculus, you need a place for
it to grow. Thus, perhaps we can determine the use of the eviscerated Pia
look-alike in Baldander's lab. And what homunculus did Baldanders recently
In Baldander's bedchamber, Severian encounters a giant baby catamite (boy
sex object of a pedophile). If there is doubt on whether there is sexual
intention, the baby's gold jewelry, the rich red bedding and the mirror on
the ceiling should leave no doubt.
Pedophiles are often attracted to children because of their perceived
innocence. Baldanders had recently been in close contact with a person
repeatedly described as innocent looking, the only other character (along
with the catamite) to have golden hair and blue eyes. But perhaps just a
bit too feminine for Baldy.
I think it is interesting that the other biological scientist we meet later
in the jungle is also a pedophile. Remembering the boy Mamas, it all makes
me wonder which of Talos' duties he resented more when he was a boy himself.
Whacking Baldanders with his cane could be motivated by more than just
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