(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

Matthew Groves matthewalangroves at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 08:30:18 PDT 2009

I've been puzzling over this passage in Claw, Jonas and Severian are
in the Antechamber and Jonas is wigging out.  I don't know the history
Jonas is talking about, and I wonder if it sheds any light on Wolfe's
views on monarchy and democracy.

"Hereditary rulers and hereditary subordinates, and all sorts of
strange officials. Lancers with long, white mustaches." For an instant
the ghost of his old humorous smile appeared. "The White Knight is
sliding down the poker. He balances very badly, as the King's notebook
told him."
[...] "None of it began so." There was a sudden intensity in his
quavering voice. "Severian, the king was elected at the Marchfield.
Counts were appointed by the kings. That was what they called the dark
ages. A baron was only a freeman of Lombardy."
"It became ingrained. It all endured too long." As I walked toward the
crowd, I heard him say, "The people didn't know."

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