(urth) Close Reading: Torturer Chapter I
aldenweer at charter.net
Wed Sep 6 12:25:03 PDT 2006
Wow! I'm thrilled with the response this has received.
>Would you be
>prepared to gather all the comments and edit into a
>coherant list of observations for each chapter?
Yeah, I think this would be rewarding, though I don't know the best way
to do it.
b sharp writes:
>The tone JWillard
>sets with his first chapter observations is pretty high on the esoteric scale
Sorry - I tend towards the esoteric. But that's also why I thought it
would be good to get different people focused on the same content, so
that different things come into focus.
Great observation on the amschaspand. Perhaps it's also a hint of
outside intervention of some kind: Severian must meet Vodalus as part
of the narrative that's been assigned to him.
>The gate is "the symbol of my exile." Why "the" rather than "a"
>symbol, I wonder?
Maybe I'm just being extra thick, but I've never understood why Severian
makes this comment, period. Why does he land on this gate as the symbol
of his exile? He seems to mean it in a way focused on this particular
point in time. Is it because he has just realized what he is, having
just come back to life?
>Now, there's an interesting phrase at the bottom of 14/top of 15.
>Vodalus tells Hildegrin (as yet unnamed) to take his pistol, then
>tells the volunteers "Guard yourselves!"
Yes, I was struck by the fact that Hildegrin commands Vodalus, as well.
But Thea's the dove.
Another line I meant to comment on, pg. 11 of Shadow/Claw: "I dashed
along a path that was (or at least then seemed) completely
unfamiliar..." Like I said, words like 'perhaps' and 'seem' are
treacherous coming from Severian.
One thing I feel more strongly is that Severian's 'allegiance' to
Vodalus is an affectation. Well, that will have to wait. Work calls.
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