(urth) Spring Wind

Andrew Mason andrew.mason53 at googlemail.com
Thu Sep 23 06:16:33 PDT 2010

James Wynn wrote:

>> Andrew Mason -
>> Typhon: first, can someone point me to the evidence that he was not
>> born/raised on Urth? I'm not sure what the source for this is.
> For me, it is based on the story of "Spring Wind". I was rather
> surprised to discover that it was at all controversial that "Spring
> Wind" referred to Typhon. But I suppose there is little about these
> stories that is not controversial. If it seems reasonable to you that
> Spring Wind = Typhon, then the obvious implication is that he is
> extra-terrestrial :

I have a quite different reading of Spring Wind.

Spring Wind = March, i.e. Mars, father of Romulus and Remus.
Early Summer = June, i.e. Juno, mother of Mars.
Bird of the Wood = Rhea Silvia, mother of Romulus and Remus. (This is
a Wolfean joke, of course; 'Rhea' in the original legend didn't mean a

I think that one of the names in isolation could be read in any number
of ways, but all three together - given the rest of the story - seem
quite clear to me.

I think that the tale can be wholly explained in terms of stories that
exist now - Romulus and Remus and Mowgli being the main sources, with
secondary ones including Moses, the Pilgrim Fathers, and a story I'm
sure I've heard, though I'm not sure where, about a virgin who became
a mother with the help of a flower. One needn't take the story to be
about an events in the future timeline of Urth, or identify the
characters with people existing then.

The only thing that might count against this is that Spring Wind comes
from 'a mountain beyind the shores of Urth', but that could just be a
way that people from the future, who know about space travel, would
express the thought that he was a god (just as Shere Khan becomes a

This does not stop the story having allegorical or typological
significance for things that happen in the future of Urth. Indeed, it
clearly has some application to Severian - his mother was a nun, he
was brought up by 'wolves' i.e. torturers, and he may have had a twin,
though probably a girl. But other details don't fit. Parts of it may
apply to Typhon as well - but it's hard to see how we could know which
parts, so I don't think it can be used as _evidence_ for him.

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