(urth) Questions . . .

Eric Ortlund eortlund at briercrest.ca
Tue Nov 27 09:57:50 PST 2007

Hi Jeff - 
This is a very interesting answer: I'm suspicious that the story does
work on several levels/apply in several different directions.  The
identity of both Jonas and Severian is, of course, problematic: both
change into something else (Jonas into something at least partially
human after his ship crashes, and Severian after he dies in Urth of the
New Sun and is re-constituted as an eidelon or aquastor or whatever).
And both sail on ships.  So the man fleshed from dreams might be a kind
of allegory (at least partially) for either of their lives.

It's difficult to disassociate the naviscaput (navis = ship, caput =
head) from Abaia.  But I wonder if the "Pelagic Argosy" might hint in
both ways . . . as a "ship of the deeps" or something like that, it
might hint at Abaia and the forces of chaos coming out of the sea to
storm the land.  The fact that Vodalus is in league with these powers
would support that.  On the other hand, I wonder if it is more likely
that, since the phrase is of the ship of the deeps sighting land, it
refers more hopefully to the ships Sev sails on - the one to Yesod, and
the one on Urth after the flood destroys everything.  That the ship
sights land is a hopeful sign; it can come to rest (whether on Yesod or
a purged Urth).  Ironically, Vodulas is speaking better than he knows
about the coming of the new sun. 


From: urth-bounces at lists.urth.net [mailto:urth-bounces at lists.urth.net]
On Behalf Of Jeff Eoff
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:28 AM
To: The Urth Mailing List
Subject: Re: (urth) Questions . . . [mx][spf]

Eric Ortlund wrote: 

	1) What is the larger significance of the story Sev reads to
Jonas about
	the man fleshed from dreams? ...

I think there are a number of things we can pull from this.  First, the
man crafted from dreams (after much toil by the magician) could be both
Jonas, as others have suggested, or possibly even the groomed New Sun,

I thought the black ship creature symbolized Abaia. The young ladies,
virgins I thought, that are taken by the black ship might be his brides.
This props up the "Pelagic Argosy" reference.  I always took the Pelagic
Argosy to mean Abaia and perhaps his minions (if we take the term to
mean a fleet and not one vast ship).  

Night, I believe, the dark lady who helps the hero of the story, might
also be seen as something like Tzadkiel.

	2) When Severian meets Rudesind the second time before meeting
the ...

I think, as others have stated, that Severian's Citadel and The House
Absolute are indeed connected to each other via passages, some physical,
some temporal, etc.  Also, I believe Rudesind to be a puppet of Inire,
if not something less innocent.  

Rudesind, Inire, and Fechin are all described at one point or another
(often many times) in relation to a monkey (Inire's staff, Rudesind's
old hunched form climbing the ladder, Fechin's arms).  I'm not sure
entirely what the connection is here, but I've got a feeling there is
one.  Fechin is mentioned by Rudesind and also by little Severian's
grandfather.  All of these people are, we are led to believe, quite old.
I'm only a little more than halfway reading the New Sun books again
after a few years, so maybe there's more I'm missing that appears later.

-Jeff Eoff

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