(urth) And Another:

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Thu Jul 19 11:05:12 PDT 2007

Paul B wrote:

>Thank you for clearing up the previous one, I'm heartened enough by that to
>try my luck again with another question:  In Shadow, end of Ch. 2, when
>Severian describes his drowning vision, he says he saw Malrubius.  However,
>at that point he's questioned by "An old man, a boatman from his
>clothes" about it, the man asks whether he actually saw a woman.  Of course
>Severian does see the undine, and hears Thecla, but doesn't answer.   The
>puzzling thing is the identity of the man, and how he knows what he does.

I don't see that the old boatman knows anything at all about what Severian
saw. He just wanted to know if the dead person Severian saw was a woman.

As for his identity; one theory, accepted by some and which does not involve
time travel, is that the old boatman is Dorcas' husband. He has been looking
for her body for nearly forty years but can't find it in the lake in the
Botanic Garden upriver. He thinks her body may have washed out of the lake
and moved downstream.


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