(urth) Uncle Sev

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Thu Nov 2 01:52:41 PST 2006

This has probably been kicked around long ago, but I couldn't find 
it on a quick archive scan. Anyway ...

Little Sev's first words to Our Sev after getting over the shock of 
seeing his mother & gandfather killed: "Are you my uncle?" (Sword, 
end of Ch 17.) Why would he ask that? One possibility: because he 
does in fact have an uncle named Severian, whom he has heard of but 
never met, and after whom he is named (presumably). 

Our Sev says Casdoe named Little Sev. See Sword Ch. 24: "... so 
long as Jader lived, the boy his mother had named Severian could 
not truly perish." (Of course, we're probably supposed to reflect 
also that Our Sev has saved his soul or whatever by his healing of 
Jader, but that's surely a Wolfe-level thing, not Sev's own 

How would Our Sev know that it was Casdoe who named little Sev, 
rather than Becan, or Casdoe and Becan together? Is there some 
custom in the Commonwealth that mothers name children? Further, is 
it the custom that they name their children after relatives, 
perhaps more specifically an [eldest] child after one of their 

Maybe we can hypothesize that Catherine named Our Sev after a 
brother of hers also called Sev. But where that would take you in 
the Sev Family Tree problem - I dunno! I guess it could fit with a 
disappointing scenario in which the Sev of the necropolis mausoleum 
had children named Sev jr and Catherine, and Cath (resurrected?) 
somehow (on a ship?) went forward in time to become Our Sev's 
mother. At least that accounts for the two empty coffins 
(resurrected Sev & resurrected Cath).

On another point: is there supposed to be a familial connection 
between Dorcas and Casdoe? It's so easy to see the names as 
syllabic transpositions of each other; "doe" and "gazelle" etc. And 
what would have Becan's pet name for Casdoe have been - "Cas" 
perhaps? I don't know what to do with that, either. But while 
spinning vague hypotheses, I also note that Dorcas is surprisingly 
good at painting stage scenery, and that she reminds me a bit of 
the woman Fechin trysted with, in the description of Becan's 
father: "... truly beautiful, in the way that the quietest 
sometimes are".

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