(urth) And Another:

Paul B pb.stuff at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 16:46:29 PDT 2007

Well, Severian's attitude to details is famously bad  - he tends to include,
interpret and omit things liberally.  It's furthermore not too surprising
that he mis-identified the old man some years later as he grew more shrunken
and old since Severian's memory is provably faulty at times.  Interestingly,
he even mis-identifies himself on the funerary bronze in Shadow, and in his
similarity to Ouen, which in Citadel was described as uncanny.
The strongest evidence is still the man's clear reaction to the name of
Malrubius.  The old man from the lake would have a reason to expect someone
to see a familiar face below water, but few others would.  Nothing
unfamiliar would have a name.  Certainly not women speaking in strange
tongues from the river.
Finally, the stylistic argument would be that Severian seems to encounter
the rest of his ancestors in these sorts of puzzles.

On 7/19/07, Tony Ellis <tonyellis69 at btopenworld.com> wrote:
> Paul B wrote:
> >I think it's nigh impossible for someone to infer from what Severian said
> to
> >Roche that undines were involved unless they knew what actually happened
> >down there.
> I'm not saying the boatman infers that undines are involved. I don't
> imagine he knows what an undine is. But if he has previously heard a
> woman's voice coming out of the water, or glimpsed something, then it
> would explain why he immediately jumps to the conclusion that a woman
> is what Severian has seen.
> >As for the old man, it's not clear what his current job is, but he sure
> is
> >poor, and he does own a boat of sorts that would still require tar to
> keep
> >afloat.
> You're still not very likely to get tar-stained clothes poling a
> little boat around a lake. And in any case, no mention is made of
> Dorcas's husband having tar-stained clothes. The fact that Severian
> notices the river boatman's clothes are tar-stained but makes no such
> observation about the old man in the Gardens is another reason to
> assume they are two different people.
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