(urth) The Guild's Revolutionary

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 22 22:05:36 PST 2009

--- On Sun, 11/22/09, David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net> wrote:

Thanks for the kind words!

> ------------------------------ Message: 2 Date: Sat, 21 Nov
> 2009 21:56:08 -0800 (PST) From: Jerry Friedman

> I'm not so sure.  Thecla says at the end of Ch. XII,
> "It [the revolutionary, or the part of her that hates
> herself] is a thing from Erebus, from Abaia, a fit
> companion for me.  Vodalus..."  I think she
> mentions
> those names because they're who she supported or at least
> sympathized with.  The self-hatred caused by the
> revolutionary may be making her exaggerate, but it seems
> significant that she mentions Erebus and Abaia rather
> than accusing herself of cowardly loyalty to the
> corrupt Commonwealth or selfishly enjoying her position
> while others starved, or some such.
> ---Because it's the body that rebels against the mind, I
> would think that even rebels have some idea of the nature of
> Erebus and Abaia, and Erebus and Abaia must be emblems of
> rebellion to most people. And therefore I'd think that the
> technology came from the stars, and that's simply what she's
> saying.

I hadn't thought that it meant the technology came from
the stars--an interesting point.

But still, from what you said, the punishment seems fit for
her only if she is or sees herself as a rebel.

> But if "it" refers to her own personal rebel, not the
> device---I like that. Thecla sees the nature of her
> punishment clearly, in that case. So it's just like the
> Kafka machine---it teaches as it punishes and kills. See
> next ...

Your mentioning teaching reminds me that the torturers
are the Seekers of Truth and Penitence--not deterrence
or retribution.

By the way, while rereading to look these things up, I
finally realized why it sounded familiar when the lochage
told Severian that if he didn't cover his clothes, he'd
cause a riot.  It was reminiscent of a scene in John
Brunner's /Stand on Zanzibar/, where the mere presence
of one of the main characters (Norman House) in the wrong
part of the city causes so much tension, which he's
unaware of, that a slight provocation sets off a riot.

Jerry Friedman


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