(urth) Dorcas the Forgetless or Baldanders the Forgetful?

Ryan Dunn ryan at liftingfaces.com
Tue Sep 7 07:39:27 PDT 2010

Hello All,

I have stumbled across another interesting exchange between Dorcas and Baldanders. The morning after the first play, just before they divvy up the coin from the crowd, Baldanders speaks to Dorcas. He asks who she is, and Dorcas reminds him.how they met the night before. It's worth noting that she forgets her name for a moment, though it could have been she was more hesitant to answer...


Though he seemed thoroughly awake, Baldanders stared at her. "Who are you?"

"I'm . . ." Dorcas turned toward me, frightened.

"Dorcas," I said.

"Yes, Dorcas. Don't you remember? We met behind the curtain last night. You... your friend introduced us, and said I shouldn't be afraid of you, because you would only pretend to hurt people. In the show. I said I understood, because Severian does terrible things but is really so kind."


At the end of this exchange, Baldanders has something to say to her...


Baldauders told Dorcas, "You have a wonderful memory. I wish I could recall everything like that."


I wonder, is there anything more to this exchange than what is said? Might this hint at or imply that Severian's perfect memory may come from Dorcas? Or is it meant to show how forgetful Baldanders is, that he could forget an encounter from the night before?

There's also the issue of him not dreaming (unless he's in proximity to Severian) and behaving like he is half-conscious even when he appears fully awake, but I'm not sure what those things mean.

I intend to investigate the text further, but thought this was worth positing to the group nonetheless.


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