(urth) It's all Typhon, Typhon, Typhon!

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Sat Sep 25 01:05:58 PDT 2010

On 9/23/2010 11:01 PM, Jeff Wilson wrote:
> 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.

Reviewing the passage in SWORD, Typhon explicitly uses a whispered word 
to command the floating boat, counting against his mental command over 
the inanimate. Typhon may have been speaking more figuratively about 
sending his thought into distant places, or the drift in language over 
the tousand years between the eras may compond the translation 
difficulty, so that he really means something more like will or notion.

The display of all the Commonwealth could be a mental projection, or it 
could be a hologram of some kind - it's possible that Typhon's mojo and 
the spectacle distract Sev from noticing whatever controls or command 
gestures are being used to operate the projection.

There seem to be a *lot* of curious lacunae in the Typhon sequence. He 
doesn't seem particularly affected by his resurrection, and at different 
times treats Sev as a stranger and as a forgetful acquaintance, but 
doesn't seem to realize he is the Conciliator til near the end. Weird.

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

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