(urth) Vodalus and Severian continued
severiansola at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 27 18:52:42 PDT 2010
>Jane Delawney: 'They had the corpse of a woman. Her hair, which had been dark,
>was in some disorder now about her livid face; she wore a long gown of some pale fabric.'
>That's it. No oval face or olive skin. But hey, two out of four is .. average.
It is the maid playing Holy Katharine who has the oval face and darker complexion. There
are some missing connectors. In Dr. Talos' play there is a character named Contessa Carina
(form of Catherine) who has three maids with beheaded saint names.
Eventually, I think even Gene Wolfe had to admit to himself that this wasn't enough of a clue.
So he gave us a detailed peek at one final connector in UotNS, the woman on the Path Of Air who
matches the Contessa Carina. This woman has all the characteristics combined, dark hair, oval
face, olive complexion and pale gown. I find the attention Wolfe gives to her in this scene,
without any other explanation, to be compelling and insistent that we connect her to other
parts of the story. why would this woman's face tear at Severian's heart?
>BTW 'Livid' - means that her face appears engorged with blood - as in postmortem lividity. Given
>the level of speculation around here, I'm not that reluctant to suggest that this implies she
>may have been buried /face down/. Witches are supposed to have been interred in this way in some
>cultures; also suspected vampires.
As Catherine may have been a Pelerine, I would not discount anything that might imply she had
witchy connections. I think there is something connecting these two groups of women.
My own theory is that the lividity come from her manner of death- Allowin's Necklace, a device
which gets an otherwise rather inexplicably detailed description. Ancillary to this is the sentence
given to that other dark haired, oval faced ex-Pelerine Cyriaca- strangulation. Her crime was
adultery and given the Ouen episode, I consider that may have been the crime of Severian's mother
But I am happy to incorporate witchiness also, especially given the missing Severa. Thanks for that
There is some vampiric imagery associated with a character or two in BotNS but we'll save that for
some other thread.
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