(urth) "My father's mounted guard"

John Watkins john.watkins04 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 14 21:06:43 PDT 2008

Two thoughts.

However Severian's miracles work, he has a bit of a dry spell after
giving up the Claw in Citadel. Maybe it's all in his head.

Second, regardless of when Severian-the-character becomes threefold,
Severian-the-writer is threefold all along.  Now, presumably, he can
perfectly recall being just one person, or just two, but other
evidence suggests that he doesn't have perfect control of his
personae. Is there a point at which the old Autarch asserts himself?

On 10/14/08, Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> wrote:
> Son of Witz wrote:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: John Watkins [mailto:john.watkins04 at gmail.com]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 02:33 PM
>>> To: 'The Urth Mailing List'
>>> Subject: Re: (urth) "Myfather's mountedguard"
>>> It's my impression that the Severian and Thecla personalities and
>>> memories are far more prominent.  Neither the old Autarch nor his
>>> predecessors had either the Claw, which made Thecla "alive" in
>>> Severian, nor Severian's eidetic memory, so the old Autarch's memories
>>> of Autarchs past would be dim and imperfect compared to Severian's
>>> Thecla-memories.
>>> Certainly Thecla asserts herself in Severian in ways that the others
>>> do not, or rather, certainly Severian records Thecla's moments of
>>> self-assertion in ways he does not record such moments for others.
>>> But that could be in keeping with his general reticense about the old
>>> Autarch, whose name Severian surely knew.
>> That makes a lot of sense as to why it is always Thecla and not the other
>> memory characters we notice.
> Sev specifically says that the previous autarchs' memories are present
> but faint, only his immediate predecessor and Thecla are "there" enough
> to have initiative and identity of their own.  I don't think the Claw
> would make a big difference, since Sev is the ultimately the source of
> the Claw's power. If anything, the conciliatory aspect of the Claw would
> have more of an integrating, assimilative effect, granting peace from
> such an internal division.
> As for more Thecla-moments being recorded, that's largely because Thecla
> is the only passenger memory available for 2 1/2 volumes, with the a
> tiny snippet of Autarch-memory at the end of Volume IV. By the time URTH
> begins, Sev's already had ten years of time to adjust, so there's just
> not as much opportunity for other such takeovers to be recorded.
> Although, by the time Sev returns to the Citadel, he is speaking in the
> plural as more than just a royal affectation, as if the collective
> autarchs are speaking through him.
> --
> Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
> < http://www.io.com/~jwilson >
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