(urth) Questions . . .

Lane Haygood lhaygood at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 20:22:59 PST 2007

I thought "pelagic" referred to open-ocean zones -- like there are  
different *-pelagics for different depths (i.e., mesopelagic,  
epipelagic, etc.)

Argosy was, I thought, a reference to the myth of Jason and the  
Golden Fleece, a fleece said to give one the ability to fly. It would  
seem to fit with some of the other Greek allusions that Mr. Wolfe is  
fond of.

But then again, I'm no expert, certainly.


On Nov 26, 2007, at 10:17 PM, Transentient wrote:

> On Nov 26, 2007, at 10:48 PM, Jeff Wilson wrote:
>>> 3) Is there a deeper significance to the code phrases Vodalus gives
>>> Severian?  There's so much about ships elsewhere in the book (the
>>> pelagic argosy) - the ship on the tomb Sev rests in as a boy, the
>>> ship
>>> he sails to Yesod in - and the Autarch drops the phrase to Sev. as
>>> he's
>>> talking about the higher world Severian will eventually travel to.
>>> Or
>>> is it "just" a phrase?
>> "pelagic" makes it a specific sort of ship, one that sails the high
>> seas. This distinguishes it from the Tzadkiel, or the riverine vessel
>> Severian nearly sinks in Urth. Also, argosy can be multiple ships.
>> Hmm,
>> perhaps "pelagic" is the only sort of vessel *not* encountered in
>> Severian's chronicle, though the crypt would seem to depict one.
> When I first read those lines, I went and looked up _pelagic_ and
> found a definition that I thought meant in the very deep, open sea,
> very far from land.
> So a "pelagic argosy" is kind of a neat paradox in that way. There you
> are far, far from the shore, and you see the shore. What's that! I'm
> scared. See what I mean?
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