(urth) Thecla's fourth book

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Tue Oct 3 09:51:10 PDT 2006

bsharp wrote:
>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.

Severian did not speak, in Canog's hearing, of his life before going to
Yesod and winning a New Sun, of his rise from apprentice to autarch. He
spoke as the Conciliator. He talked to his followers about the dying sun and
the eventual arrival of a New Sun. Canog's book in no way duplicated or
rehashed what Severian had written in his own first manuscript of the same

Wolfe said in "Books in _The Book of the New Sun_" that the four books were
ones "Thecla might reasonably ask to borrow". She suddenly found herself in
a bad situation, so she sought help from whatever quarter she thought would
do the most good. Wolfe said that she wanted the genealogy folio because the
influence of her relatives represented her best chance of release. She also
turned to religion. The small green book with the enameled pictures was a
collection of devotions, and _The Book of the New Sun_  told the story of
"the Conciliator, an intercessor and mediator". The brown book no doubt also
contained stories told by ("The Tale of the Town that Forgot Fauna") or
about the Conciliator.

(Thecla was in the ironic position [though neither she nor her lover were
aware of it; at least I don't think he was aware] of praying for help from
the medium of the Conciliator who had been and would yet come to be, the
same boy-toy who brought her the books and who would be instrumental in her
death, the god who came to Urth in Typhon's time and who contained her
memories and some degree of her personality. She sought release and I guess
she got what she prayed for -- sort of.)


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