(urth) Close Reading: Torturer Chapter I

JWillard aldenweer at charter.net
Wed Sep 6 12:25:03 PDT 2006

Wow!  I'm thrilled with the response this has received.

nastler says:

>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.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes:

>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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