(urth) _Urth_: Superflous?

Adrian Robert arobert at cogsci.ucsd.edu
Wed Oct 25 13:50:42 PDT 2006

On Oct 25, 2006, at 4:21 PM, Jack Redelfs wrote:

> > who, if anyone, besides me finds BotNS more satisfying without the
> > fifth volume?
> I partly agree with you. It was an excellent book, taken on it's own
> merits, but, although I always felt that Severian was the Conciliator
> somehow, I found his on-screen turn as the Conciliator to be quite
> underwhelming. I just expected more. He carreer as Conciliator
> lasted for, 1 day, was it?

To me UotNS stands as tall as its predecessors -- different, but  
intellectually delightful and emotionally satisfying in its own  
ways.  The Yesod sequences, the cleverness of the testing on and off  
the ship, and the fabulous imagery throughout are second to none; the  
desperately aimless nature of Severian's wanderings post-apocalypse  
typify "anticlimax".

The "Conciliator career sequence" was a fascinating speculation on  
how a towering legend can grow from a small seed.  Whatever your  
final conclusion about it is, hearty food for thought.

There are weaker points to be sure, things drag in places, but the  
strengths more than overwhelm them.

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