(urth) Short Sun blog

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Thu Sep 23 21:01:46 PDT 2010

On 9/23/2010 7:41 AM, Lee Berman wrote:
>> Jeff Wilson: "Typhon" shares human anatomy with Piaton, who *is* saint-named (the
>> original was martyred by having the top of his skull sawed off, per the physicians'
>> original plan), and his mind powers are impressively strong but don't put him
>> categorically into nonhuman status with folks like Decuman and the Pelerine in the
>> tent running around.
> Some intriguing points in your post Jeff. For me, Decuman's and Domnicellae's powers
> seem as only slightly hyper-versions of the person-to-person human interactions of
> hypnosis and lie detection. Typhon's and the Mandragora's ability to have verbally
> complex, detailed mental conversations (sans sensory contact for Mandragora) and to
> accurately see things far beyond the scope of human perception puts them in a different,
> superhuman category.

I don't see a lot of textev for this; if Typhon's mental mojo is all 
that, why does he bother to physically drag Severian up to the 
observation windows to tempt him with a vision of the world's powers, 
thrones, and dominions? I see that he has some kind of compelling power 
of suggestion, but his repeated attempts to get Sev to swear on the Claw 
suggest to me that his psionic transmissions are *not*  complex mental 
conversations but more like some narrow geas to comply with the command 
of the moment that has to build on some volition of the subject to 
commit to service to be truly effective.

Typhon's assertion that he has sent his thought into far places, 
still-functional machinery at the site, his knowledge of the state of 
current monstrous affairs, and Severian's overhearing him moving about 
but not speaking  suggests to me that he can mentally assert control 
over machines in his presence as well, and gathers this intelligence 
from the remaining communications gear at the mountain fortress and such 
distant mechanized stations as still operate after centuries of neglect, 
like the voices in the uppermost floor or the Matachine tower.

Perhaps both abilities are the same ability, coercing electrical 
impulses in circuitry as well as in grey matter.

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
Computational Intelligence Laboratory - Texas A&M Texarkana
< http://www.tamut.edu/CIL >

More information about the Urth mailing list