(urth) Thea's Identity

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 10 11:41:44 PDT 2013

>David Stockhoff:  1) I forgot about the triangular faces in 5HC---of course. 
>Are there heart-shaped faces in 5HC?

I have always thought that Phaedria's widow's peak was the suggestion of a
heart shaped face. (though I tend to subscribe to Borski's notion that the 
dark hair and violet eyes of Phaedria, Thecla and (presumably) Thea might
be a Wolfean reference to a boyhood crush on the young Elizabeth Taylor. Who
else is famous for "violet" eyes?).

>2) I agree that the three maids have been repurposed as three clones, a clue 
>that maids and servants with matching names are clones. Pega and Pelagia fit 

Exactly. Thanks for making that clear. I think the labelling of the Holy Katharine
actress as a "maid" is hammered home a few too many times to be accidental.

>3) I agree that we should probably shift our assumptions a bit to consider cloning 
>as not something just for nobles and mad scientists. I find this to be difficult, 
>but I suppose a palace servant could afford it

My interpretation or assumption would be that there is someone in the House Absolute
who recognized Odilo's supreme competence in his palace assignment and ordered the 
cloning to ensure continuity of the position. In fact I might even offer a possibility-
the person who has the most House Absolute continuity himself and who surely has
access to cloning technology- Father Inire.

>What does this do to assumptions about Severian's parentage and why/how he got into the 
>Guild? Was Severian actually born of his mother with Odilo's clone---was that Catherine's 

Catherine and Ouen being Severian's real parents, I'd say yes, getting pregnant was part of 
her crime. She had been a Pelerine, most likely. But was she possibly married after she ran
from them?

I suspect adultery was also a part of her crime. I say it because there is some sort of 
connection (discussed previously) between Severian's mother and the woman in the grave we
encounter in Chapter 1 of Shadow. Her livid face and the later detailed description of 
Allowin's Necklace suggest strangulation. And Cyriaca's punishment for adultery was

(other Catherine-Cyriaca parallels have also been discussed previously)

>(4) It fits Wolfe's Greek model to allow ownership of other humans; cloning is an update of that. It >allows him to depict a plainly fallen but not thoroughly evil world, and fits with the Commonwealth as >the very last doddering, weak vestige, Constantinople-like, of a global/interstellar empire after a >population collapse.

I like this perspective and agree. While Wolfe may appreciate our more enlightened age to live in,
himself, he seems more auctorially fascinated by ancient, darker civilizations than our own. 		 	   		  

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