(urth) About those flowers . . .

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Fri May 26 18:23:43 PDT 2006

bsharp wrote:
>Final note, the flower on the boat from this scene is a wilted white poppy
>and Severian sees Dorcas has replaced it in her hair with a fresh arum.
>There was a great post in here  a while back on the meanings of flowers.

I've waited nearly five years for this subject to come up on its own. Now
that it has, I want to get something off my chest.

My florigraphy post was well received; I don't recall anyone arguing against
it, and it spawned a lot of discussion. There was plenty of evidence in the
text for me to lay out, and Wolfe even mentioned the Language of Flowers in
LONG SUN. My theory was right, and I knew it.

Two years later, I asked Wolfe about it and asked him to confirm my basic
premise. Not that he had read it, mind you; I gave him a synopsis. He shot
it down. He had not been deliberately using the Language of Flowers in the
manner I suggested. He softened the blow by saying that he had chosen the
flowers he used to "evoke a mood", or something to that effect, and that
amounted to much the same thing. But I was still wrong, and that's the moral
of this story.


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