(urth) torturing BTQ

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Thu Jul 23 20:15:34 PDT 2009

James Wynn wrote:
> Okay.  Attempting to put it another way, you are saying that the 
> question Severian is begging is "Is it possible for one to know for 
> certain if one has forgotten or misremembered something?", not "How does 
> Severian know he remembers everything?"


There's no begging of either question that I can see. Severian feels his 
memory is perfect because he can find no gaps in it *and* apparently 
neither can Palaemon.  Until his attention is drawn to an inconsistency, 
any forgetting was both holistic, as if the object of the memory never 
existed at all, and trivial, regarding matters that no one else cared 
about or remembered and did not involve objective, physical consequences 
like being unable to open a door because of forgetting where the keys 
were left.

And there may be things excusable as being different in the not-English 
idiom the Urthlings use, similar to the way our "I forgot my keys" can 
really mean forgetting, or it can mean "I was distracted from my 
responsibilities and no attempt at recall was made".

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
< http://www.io.com/~jwilson >

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