(urth) flying ship

Ashley Crill ash_crill at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 28 23:34:42 PST 2007

'Ship volant' is not the only piece of evidence we have concerning the nature of the ship on Severian's tomb. Consider this bit: 
I know too in whose mausoleum I tarried as a child, that little building
of stone with its rose, its fountain and its flying ship all graven. I
have disturbed my own tomb, and now I go to lie in it." Citadel XXXVIII

Since none of the sailing vessels that Severian uses in the narrative are mentioned as ahving wings, I think its safe to assume that he does mean a ship that flies. The ship is graven on his tomb as one of the symbols of his life, and to those that built the tomb, Severian disappeared while traveling on a space ship. Its possible that the graven ship is actually the tender on which Severian flew to Tzadkiel's ship. The tender looks like a terrestrial sailing vessel according to Book of the New Sun, which could have led to the ambiguity about its nature, especially in the mind of a young Severian who may have originally thought that it was a terrestrial vessel.

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