(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Michael Thayer michael.o.thayer at gmail.com
Thu Apr 4 16:53:38 PDT 2013

I agree it is unlikely that Ethel Rosenberg's forebrain was ritualistically
consumed by fellow Soviet-sympathizers, and certainly not with the same
results as the consumption of Thecla's forebrain (no Alzabo extract in the
1950s).  One question I would want to explore before addressing the
Rosenberg issue is the broader question regarding the extent to which
tBotNS alludes to 20th century history/historical figures.  Neil Armstrong
literally appears in the text (see Chapter 5, tSotT).  Borski argues that
John F. Kennedy does as well (see Chapter 11, Solar Labyrinth).  Master
Ultan seems rather straightforwardly to be an homage to Jorge Luis Borges
(perhaps this is a literary allusion rather than an historical allusion,
though I don't think so:  there are many literary Borgesian allusions in
the text -- various "imaginary beings," the library, Severian's eidetic
memory -- but Ultan seems to be a nod to Borges the man).  So I count two
confirmed 20th century historical figure references (Armstrong, Borges) and
two proposed (JFK, E. Rosenberg).  Do you agree?  What other 20th century
allusions appear in the text?  Does anyone agree with Borski's Navigator as
JFK argument found in Chapter 11 of his book Solar Labyrinth?  Addressing
these questions might better equip us to evaluate the intriguing idea of
Thecla as Rosenberg.
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