(urth) Grand Unified Theory

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 1 11:41:00 PDT 2010

Antonio Marques: 

>Maybe Typhon isn't being honest
Typhon makes it clear he considers Severian and perhaps all humanity too far beneath 
him to warrant lying. He says "It is courtesy that is truthful. When the plebeian kneels
to the monarch, he is offering his neck.He offers it because he knows his ruler can take 
it if he wishes....it is precisely truth that I love, an open acknowledgment of fact."
Of course it is Typhon's arrogant truthfulness to Severian about Piaton their body's 
autonomic functions which lead to his end.
>The conditions on the Whorl have nothing to do with those on Urth
The conditions which lead to a ruler's face being important to his/her authority would 
seem to be human psychology not location.
>Is the second head of Pas Piaton's?

I'm not as familiar with Long/Short Sun books but I don't think Piaton is mentioned in them.
There is a painting of two-headed Pas showing a sexual orgy in front of his throne. This 
jibes with BotNS Typhon's sexual proclivities. But contradicts the secrecy by which Typhon
was grafted upon Piaton.
David Stockhoff:
>Isn't it a part of your theory that Typhon is a Megatherian, thus an amorphous monster from 
>space inhabiting a human body?
A shape-shifting monster, yes. But not amorphous, and large; not until they went beneath the waves 
and grew so titan-ic. I think they arrived on Urth in human form, as passengers on spaceships. But 
some literal black bean seed form is not out of the question.

>If he is a sport like the Asimov's Mule (another kind of monster), how  did a sport suddenly appear 
>with such godlike powers? If Typhon is so smart, why does he rely on his scientists so much?
The Mule was a sterile human mutant. I think Typhon and his ilk are the opposite. They are not human
but can reproduce quite well, both asexually and sexually.  They started as simple shapeshifters (okay, 
we might as well guess they were Inhumi) and, as parasites, were able to gain abilities, including 
intelligence, telepathy and clairvoyance, by imitating other species. The megalomania and urge to
conquer and control..well, I think we can guess which imitated species he got that from.
Typhon, like the Mother on Blue and like Abaia on Urth (and like The Mule). can't really do much on his 
own. Parasites are masters at manipulating their hosts to make them do what they want (Biology is full 
of many unplesant examples of this). Kinda like Krait with Horn. Or Quetzal on the Whorl.  Or Shadow 
Children riding around on shoulders, abos who can't use tools etc. Typhon himself is not strong. His 
natural parasitic inclination is not to get doctors to clone him  or steroid him into a strong man but 
to graft him onto a strong man whom he can completely control. I think we often see Typhonic arrogance 
when Inhumi speak to humans.
>If Typhon can scan himself into Pas, why not scan himself into another body?
Perhaps an unfair question. BotNS was written in an archaic period of computer history. An era of mainframes
and terminals and big spools of magnetic tape for memory and paper punch cards for programming. Mr. Million 
had to be killed to be copied. The more modern era of free multiple copies and ease in uploading and 
downloading was the milieu in which Long/Short Sun were written.
>Why was Typhon, with all his powers, so helpless when his slaves fled with his ships? Why couldn't he break 
>out of his mountain? What disaster were they fleeing anyway?
After the sun's too rapid decay, Typhon says "Crops failed and there were famines and riots. I should have 
left then.". So maybe it was just the uprising of the populace on Urth. But if there is anything to the 
mythological reference, Typhon and his Titan family would also be struggling with a new group of Olympian 
god types trying to take over Urth.
Typhon is helpless because, like Abaia, he has no power of his own without slaves to manipulate. Intelligence 
and clairvoyance and telepathy without any power of self-action leaves one as impotent as the Mandragora. 
Typhon's political problems coincided with a time period in which he was incapacitated. Piaton's body had to 
be strapped down until Typhon's mind was able to fully control it. Typhon says that Piaton proved to hold 
onto his self-control much longer than anticipated. His people took advantage of their freedom and took off. 
(it seems like there was some loyal servant still there because Severian notes that the straps have been 
unbuckled from the dessicated, two-headed body he finds.
(I don't know if Typhon was aware of Tzadkiel or not. But if Tzadkiel put the black hole in the heart of Urth's
sun, his/her timing was impeccable with regard to Typhon). 		 	   		  

More information about the Urth mailing list