(urth) Lake of Birds

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Mon May 28 00:55:39 PDT 2012

>Bruno de Albuquerque Furtado: "Severian, as a reformed torturer, is a pagan 

>trying to become more Christian."  That is an appealing notion..


Actually it is a Wolfe quote or a close paraphrase to one. I'm too lazy to 

check, heh.


> "Did the Cumaean raise Apu-Punchau, or did Severian?"

>I don't think anyone ever "raised" Apu-Punchau as Severian resurrected
>other characters. My impression was rather that the Cumaean had taken the
>group back in time, to the Apu-Punchau period.


>entonio: Wasn't there something about it being AP himself that moved them in 



Well, I agree that there is a deliberate ambiguity on who is doing the action 

here. The Cumaean, Severian and Apu Punchau (the latter two who, of course, 

share identity) all seem to contribute. 


With regard to the issue of time travel vs. resurrection are we sure there is

a difference? It is resurrected Dorcas (perhaps she has special insight?) who 

suggests that Severian's powers involve bending time to a place before or after 

an injury has occurred.


The swarms of bugs and reverse assembly of the Stone Town reminds me of 

Severian's resurrection of the assassin in the Secret House in UotNS. And 

during the seance, Severian tells Dorcas that what they are seeing is more 

than the one instant time we humans normally see. I think this idea of

inhabiting an atemporal region to accomplish time travel is expanded upon

in UotNS with the Brook Madregot.


For me, this fits what I think is Wolfe's general theme: that what we read about

in mythogy and ancient religion has a scientific basis. Ancient gods, angels and 

demons might be aliens. Perhaps even the heretical notion that Jesus accomplished 

his miracles (including resurrection and Second Coming) through manipulation of



I'll also say that I think Wolfe describes things like time travel and multiple 

universes ambiguously with a purpose. We get a glimpse of these things but

we are not supposed to understand them in a comprehensive or scientific manner.

Because, as humans, they are beyond our comprehension. That's why they are 

supernatural/divine. Perhaps when we evolve into higher beings, and can move

beyond science, we will possess the mental facilities to understand such things 

more fully.


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