(urth) Thea's Identity

DAVID STOCKHOFF dstockhoff at verizon.net
Thu Apr 11 11:46:49 PDT 2013

> From: Lee Berman <severiansola at hotmail.com>
>To: "urth at urth.net" <urth at urth.net> 
>Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:02 PM
>Subject: (urth) Thea's Identity
>>David Stockhoff- I wonder if male cloning works differently from female cloning here. 
>>For one thing, can a man have a daughter clone?
>Well, removing the Y chromosome and doubling the X doesn't seem too difficult. I think
>Aunt Jeannine was meant to represent a female clone of Maitre/Number 4 (or was there
>some outcrossing there?).
>---Possibly. But maybe not workable outside a specialized lab.
>>For another, why is it that we have several clear female clones but the only clear male 
>>clones are House Absolute troopers? Are male clones forbidden?
>Well, we do have Severian. But I think the female bias on Urth may be literary in nature.
>I think Wolfe is most interested in the subjective nature of it. "What is it like to be a
>clone?" is a more interesting question for him than "How would Cloning affect society?"
>---Hm. I don't find that sufficient. Cloning is associated with a drive toward perfection and stasis, or a return to it. There must be a reason women go around calling each other half-sister but men don't call each other half-brother; troopers are "as akin as brothers" but there are no armies of sister women (unless Abaia's daughters/wives count). One small barrier might be that women can bear their own embryos, while men need a woman to do so. 
>Why aren't all the nobility of Nessus half-brothers? And what about the seraglio of noble female hostages the Autarch keeps (as did the Ottoman sultans) even though he can't enjoy them as a castrado? Have they been "repurposed" as well? Was Thecla one of these? Was Catherine? 
>>Are male clones forbidden? Again I ask, was this Catherine's crime? 
>>(and if so, why not Odilo's too?
>I really don't think cloning is a crime on Urth. I think it may be more of a social 
>embarassment...on a par with being the product of incest in our own society. It's something
>that happens but you find ways of talking around it..euphemisms like "half-sister" and
>---Of course. But in a society like this, all sorts of things are illegal that people do anyway, and scandals occur only when they are caught, not just because everyone knows about it. And some crimes may formally be permitted to the nobility. If cloning is key to BNS, and the four gods-in-a-boat are all clones, then cloning cannot NOT be a key part of Severian's origin.
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