(urth) Lake of Birds

Gerry Quinn gerry at bindweed.com
Sun May 20 12:11:28 PDT 2012

From: David Stockhoff 

> The pipe still has to have a purpose. Surely Wolfe did not include it 
> simply because he was worried his readers would complain if he didn't 
> explain the lake, nor to demonstrate the builders' skill in hydrology.

I don’t think it would be out of character for him to mention a technological feature like this.

> And here's the clincher:
> [Lake Avernus] It was linked by a canal to a nearby lake (Lucrinus 
> Lacus) and from there to the sea. 

Well, I suppose he might well have included such a link as a nod to the original Lake Avernus.  

> The lake shore was also connected to 
> the Greek colony of Cumae by an underground passage known as Cocceio's 
> Cave (Grotta di Cocceio) which was 1 km (0.62 mi) long and wide enough 
> to be used by chariots. This was the world's first major road tunnel; it 
> remained usable until as recently as the 1940s.
> Damned if I knew about that! Anyway, the link is obscure, but you can 
> almost see the Wolfean mind at work.

I don’t really see the implications of the above, other than the link with the Cumaean which was elsewhere mentioned.   I agree that the original Cumaean prophesy may indeed have a counterpart in the cacogenic Cumaean’s relationship to Severian.

- Gerry Quinn

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