(urth) thanks (was: Re: academic commentary)

Jane Delawney jane_delawney at sky.com
Mon Nov 29 18:09:45 PST 2010

On 29/11/10 12:16, Lee Berman wrote:
> Jane I think I remember which short paragraph it was in which "the relationship&  balance
> of power between Tzadkiel and Severian are both subverted - turned upon their heads
> indeed". Is it where Tzadkiel confesses to being an acolyte to Severian in a different
> universe or something like that?
thanks for your response Lee and also to others, I'm just catching up. 
Yes, that is exactly the reference I was thinking of. IMO Wright either 
misses it, or chooses to disregard it.

> Sort of similar to the reversal we see where Barbatus and Famulimus, so tall and beautiful
> and from a giant spaceship, take a knee and bow before scruffy Severian.
And he's baffled and embarrassed because he's no idea they live in 
reverse and know he's The One. Yes, that too - no mention in Wright. 
He'd have found both these little episodes difficult to explain in terms 
of his hypothesis of devious manipulative Yesodis who steer naive and 
none too bright mnemonist Sev into believing they are the spokesmen of 
the Increate. Actually as we see from both of these episodes, the one I 
referred to and the one you provide also, the situation is almost 
exactly the other way round. Tzadkiel and the Hierodules revere (is 
'worship' too strong a word? not sure) Severian. They have a sense of 
time which is either 'outside' or own, or runs in the opposite 
direction. They know who and what he is, even if he himself does not.
> My impression is that Wright interprets BotNS from an atheist point of view because he is,
> himself a devout atheist and perhaps unwilling to acknowledge spirituality in the work of
> an author he so admires, despite awareness of Wolfe's religious leanings.
Wright also says at one point that whilst he realises Wolfe is a 
Catholic he (ie. Wolfe) is more than capable of writing from a 
materialistic point of view (this is not an exact quote but the sense of 
what is said). However he doesn't provide any concrete evidence for this 
which I found disappointing.

looking forward to reading further responses but not sure I'll be 
writing much more tonight - getting very late.



More information about the Urth mailing list