(urth) The Claw

Jeff Wilson jwilson at clueland.com
Sun Jan 1 05:54:28 PST 2012

On 12/30/2011 7:35 PM, Jane Delawney wrote:
> On 23/12/11 14:46, Lee Berman wrote:
>>>> Jeff Wilson: Except that it only seems to work when the White
>>>> Fountain is above the
>>>> horizion.
>>> Brian: Isn't there some sighting of the white fountain during the
>>> Apu-Punchau
>>> scene? If Severian's blood in both his body and the claw creates a
>>> temporal anomaly that allows his powers, then perhaps the massive
>>> anomaly
>>> created when he and Apu-Punchau touch is somehow part of the
>>> whole...uh..."white fountain process".
>> Well, Severian does see the White Fountain as he breaks out of Apu
>> Punchau's tomb.
>> Previous to that, Barbatus twice suggests to Severian that he will
>> have access to
>> the White Fountain power only when its light first reaches Urth. I
>> assume that to
>> mean the whole Urth, else his power would only work during a certain
>> time of day.
>> The White Fountain/Claw's power is never fully reliable but I don't
>> get the sense
>> the problem is related to Urth's turning.
> Personally I've never been convinced by the 'powers only available after
> the White Fountain light reaches Urth / is above the horizon' theory
> (even though this is clearly posited in the text and appears for sure to
> be what [Wolfe tells us that] Severian believes) just because Sev / Apu
> Punchau performs miracles of healing (and resurrection? I forget. I
> don't have UOTNS in front of me now) from the time he arrives in the
> primitive village; it's part of why the villagers come to follow him in
> the first place.
> Admitted that the most up-front 'miracle' of all, the failure of the
> sunrise, is caused by the Yesodis not by Severian; but Sev does
> elsewhere state explicitly that he performed healings and other works
> early in his stay in that era, and indeed I seem to remember he is
> actually puzzled by his ability to do this in the pre-White-Fountain era!

CH L "Darkness in the House of Day" is when he writes:

"The injured and the ill were brought to me for healing; some I cured as 
I had cured Declan, or as we of the guild had been taught to prolong the 
lives of our clients. Others died in my arms. Perhaps I could have 
revivified the dead as well, as I had recalled poor Zama; I never 
attempted to do so."

...but in CH XXIX "Among the Villagers", Declan's healing is described:

"After a moment I realized it was no longer quite so dark as it had 
been. A faint light played across him, moving with the movements of my 
eyes. My first thought was that it came from the thorn I kept in the 
little leather sack Dorcas had sewn for the Claw, though it seemed 
impossible that it could shine through the leather and my shirt in such 
a way. I took it out. It was as dark as it had been when I had tried to 
light the corridor outside my cabin with it, and I put it away again. "

"I pulled down the homespuns that had covered him and found he was naked 
beneath them. His right side was swollen, the lump the size of a child's 
head. I smoothed it away, thrilling to the power that surged out of 
Urth, through my legs and out my fingers."

So he's drawing on the power in the ground when he does this sort of 
healing, and his own eyes light up instead of the Claw.

 > Perhaps the 'miraculous' powers are more part of Severian himself than
 > even Severian realises.

It seems he has the gift to draw from different sources of energy to do 
his healing, at least. But if the Claw-White Fountain connection 
transcends time, it ought to work at any time of the day. If it can be 
blocked by the limb of Urth, why does it work in the mines on the ape?

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

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

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