(urth) The Pelerine (COTA 12)

Mr Thalassocrat thalassocrat08 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 02:40:50 PDT 2010

On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 10:59 PM, Mr Thalassocrat
<thalassocrat08 at gmail.com>wrote:

>  On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 9:43 PM, Andrew Mason <
> andrew.mason53 at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> I do think Cyriaca's story is quite important, by the way, because it
>> explains why, though the physical distance between our time and
>> Severian's is enormous, the cultural distance at times seems strangely
>> small.  The various bits of cultural inheritance haven't been handed
>> down continuously; they were returned to humans by computers just a
>> few thousand years before Severian.
> ... and then the knowledge was collected by Typhon, perhaps, in the
> library. This is an observation which might also help to explain some of
> seeming anachronisms between BOTNS and SS/LS. Languages and writings from
> "our" time are present on the Whorl not because they were current in
> Typhon's day, but because Typhon's cultural archeaologists put them there,
> They didn't mine the past just for the Chras Writings etc, but for whole
> chunks of language and culture. So eg the "Dorp culture" doesn't indicate
> some totally unlikley survival of things Dutch into the deep future, but
> rather an artificial reconstruction of deep-past Dutchness by the Whorl
> project team.
> I like this; it has the right whiff of megalomania.
> Perhaps every town culture on the Whorl was just a megalo-whimsical museum
> reconstruction by the Whorl team, having no roots at all in the Urth of
> Typhon's day.
> Viron's odd naming convention was just something they made up.
> Pity the poor sleepers!
FWIW, I tried to find the meaning for the names of all the Dorpians given in
the IGJ listing, using Google translate and the Dutch version of wikipedia;

Not all of them are bizarre or implausible, but overall I think the list is
consistent with hypotheses that (a) Dorpian names come from some list of
Dutch words that the Whorl team found somewhere & as a body don't have much
to do with names that a real Dutch culture would use; and (b) the Dorpians
quite possibly don't even speak Dutch & have no idea what these names

Aanvagen: Swept (mistress of house in which SilkHorn "jailed")
Azijn: Vinegar (legerman)
Beroep: Occupation, trade (husband of Aanvagen)
Cijfer: Digit, numeral (wife of Wijzer)
Hamer: Hammer (judge)
Leeuw: Lion (legerman)
Nat: liquor, wet, soggy (magnate)
Parel: Pearl, bead (servant)
Strik: Bow, trap, knot (captain)
Taal: Language (advocate)
Vadsig: Lazy, slothful (servant)
Vent: Fellow, chap (advocate)
Versregal: Should be Versregel? = Verse, line (Strik's wife)
Vlug: Fast (legerman)
Wapen: Weapon (son of tavern owner)
Wijzer: Pointer, clock hand (captain)
Ziek: Sick, diseased (merchant)

I don't have enough interest at this point to try to go into "Gaoan-culture"
names, but I'd just also note along these lines "He-pens-sheep" as an
unlikely name for a hunter.
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