(urth) Ouen's Catherine

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Sat Oct 14 05:48:50 PDT 2006

On Sat, 14 Oct 2006 10:59:32 +1000 "Roy C. Lackey" 
<rclackey at stic.net> wrote:

>What "dark woman" did Severian have in mind, and what did he know, 

>suspect, about her and this look-alike waiter? I can only conclude 

>that he
>came to this conversation with a prior notion about a certain dark 

>woman and
>her relationship to himself. 

I took this to be just a simple deduction by Sev: He realizes first 
that Ouen must be his father, then since Ouen is fair & he (Sev) is 
dark, Sev's mother must have been dark also (is that valid 

>It is always assumed that the "order of monials" Catherine ran 
>away from was
>the Pelerines. That may also be true, but being tortured to death 
>is hardly
>an apt or likely consequence of deserting a voluntary religious 

Maybe there's an analogy with Cyriaca's circumstances. Something 
like: by running from the Pelerines and taking up with a low-life, 
Catherine brought discredit to Somebody Important (her father?) and 
exemplary punishment upon herself. Sev's mother as Thecla's aunt?

Or: a sister/daughter/whatever of a rebel, she had been consigned 
to the Pelerines under a suspended sentence of death, which became 
effective upon her escape. Sev's mother as Vodalus' sister?

Actually, I don't think there's enough information to do very much 
with any of this. I think we are supposed to see an echo of Sev's 
mother in Cyriaca, but the woman herself is lost. 

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