(urth) Wolfe at Readercon
crushtv at gmail.com
Tue Jul 21 08:51:16 PDT 2009
>So if Wolfe came up with this particular idea, it seems consistent
>to me to think that Wolfe had some idea of where he wanted
>to go with the idea. It's not just a gimmick to allow, for instance,
>characters to deceive Latro because he can't remember that they
I always thought it was intended as a critique on the integrity of history.
Wolfe did this even more directly in "Peace". Also, while Severian *says* he
has perfect memory, it begs the question "How does he know that?" And in
fact immediately after he makes this claim the first time, he commits a
glaring error of fact.
Every morning Latro reads a diary that others tell him was written by
himself. But he can't really *know* that he wrote it or (assuming he did) if
he made it up or if he is crazy. He's like us when we read history.
We assume that history is *real* and myth is not, in part, because history
is verifiable. However, the facts of Herodotus's history in which Latro's
story is set--the first history so called--was challenged only a few decades
later by Thucydides. Also it is full of stories of manticores (verified),
flying snakes, wool growing on trees (verified), and a personal encounter
with Pan. We can find evidence that *supports* certain claims of history,
but we can't truly verify or discount recorded events and conversations.
That ability has been lost to the *mists* of Time.
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