(urth) The Apu-Punchau Eclipse
bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 10 08:05:14 PDT 2008
I've seen the arguments about the eclipse before. The timing of a black hole or hiero-ship caused
eclipse seems too coincidental. Quite a double duty for that event....trans-universal stellar events
also stopping a primitive ritual sacrifice among savages on Urth? Yes, it is our hero, but we already
know Severian can't be killed, as his resurrection from having his head bashed in by the savages
later shows. Why would the hieros time the crucial event to rescue Severian when he doesn't need
rescuing and would be killed again fairly soon?
I've always been partial to Dave Tallman's interpretation. The scene SO echoes the Connecticut
Yankee scene and Wolfe makes numerous other literary allusions through this series. Moreover, as
Conciliator, Severian's emotions during crisis situations cause natural, urthly upheavals...storms,
earthquakes. An eclipse seems like a reasonable next upheaval. Though magnitudes more energy
might be required than the other events I think the pleasure in alluding to Twain overcame any
reservations Wolfe might have had.
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