(urth) Questions about BNS
adam at io.com
Wed Nov 14 15:09:42 PST 2007
On Nov 14, 2007, at 1:26 PM, Eric Ortlund wrote:
> 2) When Severian and Agia are in the Jungle Garden, the apparently
> travel in time and space (the story about Father Inire's mirrors
> apparently prepares the reader for this) to a missionary couple in
> the jungle. Can someone please explain to me what on earth the
> native is talking about on pg. 131? The woman in the couple reads
> from Deuteronomy 34 - about Moses looking into the promised land
> but not being able to enter it
This would be Severian and the Urth of the New Sun, is my reading.
In addition to being a Christ figure he's a Mosaic figure--he brings
his world to salvation but does not himself get to enter the New World.
> - and then the native tells a story about a fish who apparently is
> a woman. I'm totally at a loss here; what is the connection? What
> is the naked man talking about? How does this contribute to the
> 3) What about the vision Dorcas and Severian see when they're
> leaving Nessus of the huge palace (pg 181)? What is it of? I
> vaguely remember that the conversation which Severian has with the
> woman who gives him tea at the fair in Saltus might hint that it is
> somehow identified with the tent of the Pelerines. Is that on the
> right track?
As I recall, the tent of the Pelerines rising like a hot air balloon
as it burns. But I might be misremembering, because that doesn't
> 4) At the end of Shadow of the Torturer, there's a disturbance at
> the huge gate of Nessus; we only learn in Severian's dream in the
> next book about the five soldiers turning people aside. Severian
> seems so circumspect in describing this that I'm suspicious he
> knows something which he isn't telling us. Is this incident in the
> book significant? Or is it just that Severian doesn't know why the
> soldiers are there?
This has been discussed before, but I don't think anyone knows
definitively what's going on. I myself love the idea that Severian
thinks he can impress chicks with impromptu excruciations.
> 5) One more and I'll stop - when Severian nearly drowns in the
> Gyoll near the beginning of Shadow, he sees a woman's face; later,
> during his dream while he's sleeping next to Baldanders, the brides
> of Abia hint that they came to see him at the Gyoll - so that's who
> he sees. Two questions: who is the woman crying that he hears -
> Thecla? Also, when his friends pull him out, he says that he saw
> the dead Malrubius - and a boatman asks if Malrubius is a woman. I
> know this is really small, but, like I said, no detail is
> insignificant; why would the boatman say this? Is there anything
The boatman may have seen an undine. Or maybe not. There's
something there all right. What, though...
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