(urth) Roche

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 19 04:56:11 PDT 2006

JWillard writes:

>one of the things that has struck me in closely reading the first several 
>chapters is how active much of an active participant Roche is.

I can agree with that in conjunction with the observation that Severian 
periodically mentions Roche during his travels while I don't think Drotte 
gets much mention at all.  The red hair seems like it could be significant 
(given Fechin, Talos, Jolenta, Daria?).  On the other hand, when Severian, 
as Autarch, confronts Roche at the end of BoTNS, he seems merely a friend 
and devoted guild member with no hint of being a secret agent, cosmic or 

Roy writes:

>I don't really have much to add except to point out that when the
>incantation is repeated near the end of CITADEL, "glass" has been replaced
>with "grass". I don't know if it is a typo, or an error by Wolfe or
>Severian. That and, of course, the hidden coin is false gold. Why would
>Vodalus have been carrying a counterfeit coin?

I noticed the glass/grass issue also and had generally felt it must be a 
typo.  The only doubt I have comes from a similar question which has been 
raised in this archive about a certain passage in Shadow Ch.2.  Severian 
imagines a miraculous light which engenders life in objects it falls upon, 
so a leaf plucked from a bush grows legs and a rough brown brush opens black 
eyes and scurries up a tree.  Does he mean a cleaning brush?  A brush plant? 
  Is this a typo and a redundant bush was meant?  Is there some deeper 
purpose to confusing man-made objects with plants?  Ahhh, probably a typo.

Severian discovers the false nature of the coin given him by Vodalus because 
it resembles the false coin Dr. Talos gives him at the end of Citadel.  In a 
recent dialog with Dan'l, it was discussed that Dr. Talos' cane sword may 
have been acquired as a "dropsie" from Vodalus in his audience.  Is it 
possible the false coin also came from Vodalus or Hildegrin in the audience?

Is it auctorial inconsistency that Vodalus has (has made?) counterfeit coins 
with the Autarch's face on it, yet he is unable to recognize the Autarch 
when he has him in custody.  Vodalus desperately wants to possess the 
Autarch's memories and has strong reason to suspect Appian (sorry Tony 
Ellis) or Severian is the autarch but somehow lets them both slip through 
his fingers without so much as a taste.

Stanislaus explains Vodalus' counterfeit coin as:

>Because Vodalus is counterfeit New Sun.

I think Vodalus' dreams of a new galactic empire suggest he is more of a 
counterfeit Typhon.


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