(urth) Spring Wind

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Thu Sep 23 08:07:01 PDT 2010

> Andrew Mason-
> I have a quite different reading of Spring Wind.
> Spring Wind = March, i.e. Mars, father of Romulus and Remus.
> Early Summer = June, i.e. Juno, mother of Mars.
> Bird of the Wood = Rhea Silvia, mother of Romulus and Remus. (This is
> a Wolfean joke, of course; 'Rhea' in the original legend didn't mean a
> bird.) I think that one of the names in isolation could be read in any number
> of ways, but all three together - given the rest of the story - seem
> quite clear to me.

Andrew, I agree that there is intended conflation with the Romulus 
story. I think you are right about Juno and Rhea, but --while I agree 
that there is an intended to connection between Spring Wind and Mars-- 
the connection between the terms March and Spring Wind is not nearly so 
sweet as the alias for Juno and Rhea. The name has been retrofitted, 
presumably for another purpose...just as Minotaur in Theseus's story has 
been morphed into Erebus in The Story of the Student and His Son.

When I read all the names together, it tells me that Spring Wind is the 
odd man out. There are other features of the story of Romulus's birth 
that don't quite fit either. One must ask...why not?

> I think that the tale can be wholly explained in terms of stories that
> exist now - Romulus and Remus and Mowgli being the main sources, with
> secondary ones including Moses, the Pilgrim Fathers, and a story I'm
> sure I've heard, though I'm not sure where, about a virgin who became
> a mother with the help of a flower. One needn't take the story to be
> about an events in the future timeline of Urth, or identify the
> characters with people existing then.
> The only thing that might count against this is that Spring Wind comes
> from 'a mountain beyind the shores of Urth', but that could just be a
> way that people from the future, who know about space travel, would
> express the thought that he was a god (just as Shere Khan becomes a
> smilodon).

Once again, Shere Khan to smilodon is a pretty tight fit. A god to 
/merely/ someone on another planet? Particularly in a science fiction 
story? Not so tight.

The Story of Frog is in chapters 17-19.
That's a lot of space given to a lark. And as a pure free associating 
confabulation of myth and literature, it's not an especially good lark.

Spring Wind gets a mention again in chapter 22:
"For a time, the boy was silent. Then he said, "Big Severian, where did 
[Hethor's slug monster] come
"Do you remember the story? From one of the mountaintops beyond the 
shores of
"Where Spring Wind lived?"
"I don't think it was the same one."

This suggests to me that the Spring Wind story is talking about a real 

We meet Typhon in chapter 25.

> This does not stop the story having allegorical or typological
> significance for things that happen in the future of Urth. Indeed, it
> clearly has some application to Severian - his mother was a nun, he
> was brought up by 'wolves' i.e. torturers, and he may have had a twin,
> though probably a girl.

One could argue that Severian was brought up by Shepherds, but point taken.

> But other details don't fit. Parts of it may
> apply to Typhon as well - but it's hard to see how we could know which
> parts, so I don't think it can be used as _evidence_ for him.

I don't think it is about Severian's life. But the story relates to him 
in ways I am not prepared to delineate. That principle strikes me as 
something we were expected to accept.


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