(urth) Seawrack and the Mother

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 20 05:58:18 PDT 2012

>Gerry Quinn: The Naviscaput lived in shallow water / shoals, doesn’t seem to much resemble Abaia 
>and anyway is a long-dead creature of myth.  The usual theory is that the story is a mash-up of 
>the Minotaur and the Monitor, similar to the other story that combines the story of Romulus with 
>The Jungle Book. 

Not shoals but deeply cut channels, iirc. We are never told or shown what Abaia looks like except
that he is the size of a mountain. That would seem to jibe with the Naviscaput whose head above
the water disguises a far greater bulk below. Anyway, it wasn't me who first made the comparison
of the Naviscaput to Abaia, it was Severian.

I think there can be an incorrect assumption that Abaia is a single creature in one deep-ocean
location. I think that is incorrect partly because that isn't a very good vantage point to
interfere with human affairs as he does. Also because there are hints that Abaia resides in 
other places, including Lake Diuturna and Gyoll (as revealed in the story of the old boatman
who carried clams). Perhaps also beneath the earth under the cave of the man-apes?

I think Wolfe gives us Tzadkiel to provide us with an archetype of what these giant creatures are
like: plural beings capable of budding off smaller pieces, which can take various shapes and sizes
and thus be in more than one place at once. Sure Tzadkiel and his ilk are "angels" while Abaia and
his ilk (undines at least) are demons but that is more a reflection of their "side" in relation to
the human race. There are suggestions that Tzadkiel and Abaia, like angels and demons, are of the
same race. It's just that one group is fallen (to earth/urth).

[thus I think all aliens residing on earth belong to the "fallen" category, including Inire and the
Cumaean, who seems to bear some connections to Echidna, imho]

I think Wolfe's revelation that Barbatus and Famulimus have a watery, "kelpie" origin serves to
inform us that the angels have the same origin as the devils inhabiting Urth. Yesod being a watery
world of islands would seem to support the idea. This does not negate the oft-discussed consideration 
that there is a circular component to the human-hiero genesis. Ultimately, we humans (like all life 
on earth) are water-spawned beings. Moreover there are many hints (Baldanders, Cilinia/Scylla) that 
the giant water monsters of Urth might also have a human origin. 		 	   		  

More information about the Urth mailing list