(urth) Thecla's fourth book

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 2 04:27:11 PDT 2006

Josh Young writes:

>I don't think there is a paradox here. I seem to remember Sev setting a 
>copy of his >memoirs "Adrift on the sea of time." in UotNS. I always 
>assumed that it wound up, either by >coincidence or providence in Urth of 
>the pastand was found and subsequently read.

The paradox is in causality, as Roy outlined.  We have Severian's spoken 
words inspiring Canog's Book of the New Sun which inspires Talos'  
outrageous and distorted play which inspires Severian's spoken word.  A 
closed loop, which would be okay in the science fiction world except for the 
glitch of Flood Day information which is included in Talos' play. Where does 
it come from?  Severian doesn't know about Flood Day when he speaks and 
Canog hears.

Now, there is Urth of the New Sun which is also a journal, written by 
Severian.  Somehow it exists somewhere/when for Gene Wolfe to find and 
translate.  It has the details of Flood Day in it, including minor details 
(major in regard to Severian's family tree I think) like the woman on the 
Path Of Air.  Somehow this information was inserted into the closed loop.  
Did Canog find Urth of the New Sun and insert its information into his book? 
(if so, he also found himself in that book).

It seems more likely that Dr. Talos found Urth of the New Sun and inserted 
that stuff into his play.  If Dr. Talos had read Book of the New Sun he 
would have found himself there and would know exactly what would happen to 
Baldanders and him (in Urth he appears only as an eidolon on Yesod). It 
seems more likely that Talos has read only Urth of the New Sun not Book of 
the New Sun.

I still have trouble seeing how Canog could write such a detailed book, in 
first person, based only on Severian's spoken words.  Perhaps he found 
Severian's version of Book Of the New Sun and re-wrote it?  I also have 
trouble seeing how Thecla could have chosen that book.  If she had read it 
before, she would have known her own fate. If she was only requesting it 
because someone recommended it...who would that person be? And why would 
that person want Thecla to read about her own fate? Or chance Severian 
finding his own book or...etc. etc.

All in all I feel forced to the conclusion that Wolfe was playing fast and 
loose when he dealt out this particular deck of cards.


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