(urth) started my second read of New Sun

Cliff Judge transentient at gmail.com
Wed May 5 09:00:04 PDT 2010

Forgive me for, inevitably I am sure, rehashing things that were probably
well-hashed on this list before the millenium. I've done my searching. A lot
of these points feel familiar but I haven't found the threads that talk
about them.

1) Sev introduces himself to Vodalus, and there is a sentence that would
make sense if spoken by Vodalus ("I am a Vodalarii..." etc) but is in the
same paragraph as Severian's utterance. Is Severian introducing himself to
Vodalus as a follower of Vodalus?

2) Severian actually brings Triskele back to life the first time they meet,
doesn't he?

3) Is the House Azure actually part of the House Absolute? Something about
the way that the Thecla khaibit talks about being amused by clients who say
they have been to the House Absolute, seems like she could mean "They
believe they are lying, when in reality, they are in the House Absolute
right here in this room." I am given to wonder if Severian's descriptions of
the fake columns and the cheap cloth the Thecla khaibit wears are not
factual, he is either just lying to us or he is seeing what he has to
believe. Also, the khaibit claiming to be brought to the House Azure on a
carriage, and Severian going "oh, really she must have walked here through
the snow, the carriage is a lie to make her seem like more than she is"
seems funny if you assume that she probably hasn't gone anywhere at all,
that the House Azure is a storefront in Nessus and has a mirror to the
Autarch's actual harem. The illusion lowers the reality, rather than raises
it. I think there is a lot of that going on in this chapter - I think the
clincher is when the khaibits says that she is just as truly Thecla as the
Thecla Severian carries in his mind.

4) What might have actually been going on during the ceremony at the Feast
of Holy Katharine? Did he actually behead the woman and then resurrect her?
Masters Gurloes and Paleamon and the maid herself - who if I recall
correctly may have been Severian's mother - must have been in on it
basically...which would mean they all knew he was likely the bringer of the
New Sun and had the whole thing planned out as a test. And the Autarch was
probably involved. I found Sev's comment that he was tired after the
ceremonial beheading to be interesting, I will need to watch carefully for
him seeming like he has exerted himself when exercising his godly powers.

5) The theory that he killed her and resurrected her also makes some sense
when, extremely hung over to the extent that it might not just be alchohol
later - he has a visitation by a Malrubius eidolon, as well as Triskele.

6) Then there is that lingering scent of perfume he detects in his cabin. He
says "the Thecla khaibits had been by to visit." But it seems that this
might have been a convenient time for Thecla to have visited his bed. The
very next day she was to be excruciated...but perhaps that was part of her
excrutiations? Perhaps Thecla was involved in the whole "plot" to catalyze
Severian's exegesis as the Conciliator?

Anyway it's all very interesting on second read. I did not expect so much to
jump out at me after having not picked the books up in 6 years.
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