(urth) Lives of the Great Beasts

Jonathan Goodwin joncgoodwin at gmail.com
Sat Jul 3 13:25:26 PDT 2010

Why does the woman with the black beans story refer to the monsters
under the sea? Because she wished to be obeyed, and they wish to be
obeyed? Was she one, and divided by such as Typhon (who, remember,
does not fear them), and now is many? Were the beans the seeds from
which the monsters grew? (I've always assumed that the black beans
were a metaphor for the black hole devouring the sun.)

On Sat, Jul 3, 2010 at 2:51 PM, Gerry Quinn <gerryq at indigo.ie> wrote:
> From: "Lee Berman" <severiansola at hotmail.com>
>>> Jonas tells Severian that they were brought to Earth, possibly in the
>>> zoetic tower, to replace the extinct fauna.
>> I don't remember this. Is it in reference to megatherians? My vague memory
>> is that might refer to creatures like the alzabo; but that could surely be
>> faulty.
> I don't think so eitrher.  The alzabo was brought to Urth "as many other
> things,for the use and benefit of Man" [quoting from memory]. All I know of
> the undersea monsters, if they are indeed the Megatherians, of which I am
> not certain, is the story of the beans.
> I assume this beans story to have some basis in truth, but it may be
> historically twisted or even metaphorical.  Hmm... could Erebus/Abaia be
> some kind of feminist revenge on the race of Men, as the story might
> suggest?  Their only acolyhes we meet are female, and we are not really told
> the gender of the giant monsters, even if we tend to assume them male.  [Nor
> are any serious hints given about their sexual proclivities, but after the
> Wizard Knight, I am inclined to feel that this may be for the best.]
> - Gerry Quinn
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