(urth) Short Sun blog

Dave Tallman davetallman at msn.com
Fri Sep 24 09:29:34 PDT 2010

Lee Berman wrote:

Jeff, your argument below on the more modest, machine assisted abilities of
> Typhon is a good one. What isn't addressed, for me, are the similar
> abilities of the Mandragora. Within your framework of thinking are you
> saying the Mandragora has similar machinery to Typhon's at his disposal? Or
> that Typhon and the Mandragora are unrelated? Or something else?

I am not persuaded that the Mandragora has anything to do with Typhon.
There are a couple of unanswered questions with this theory.

1) Why would a clone of Typhon be stored in the Autarch's visiting room?
Typhon wasn't an Autarch -- the title wasn't invented in his time. The
Matachin Tower was just part of a prison then.
2) Why did the Mandragora ask about a memory of Severian being in a basket
as a child?

My theory is that the Mandragora is a spare clone brother of Severian
himself. Two clone embyros could have been transported downriver in a basket
to the Citadel (possibly by the Cyriaca of the previous iteration) and sent
back in time to be implanted in Catherine. Then it would make sense for both
brothers to share this memory. The unused clone, as a would-be autarch of
sorts, could be given the honor of being stored in the Autarch room.

In my theory, this is Severian's missing "twin" and the Fish to his Frog.
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