(urth) Thea's Identity

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 19 12:47:58 PDT 2013

>Gerry Quinn: I think it was Jonas who said that they were the newest.

Correction appreciated. Actually Jonas might be a more appropriate messenger
of the new which (I think) suggests the exultants have at least some extra-
terrestrial origin. (is "extra-terrestrial" an appropriate term on Urth?)

>Marc Aramini: ....because I think it is something readers overlook. 
>Horn is a jerk. He thinks about his wife in obw because that is the effect of 
>being mixed with Silk, silk is thinking about hyacinth and his affectations have 
>crept in, making Horn better. But Horn knows it is a lie.

This is an interesting perspective, Marc. Especially for me since I think Horn is
one of Wolfe's most autobiographical characters. Who then (autobiographically) is
Silk and what role does he play as he is conjoined with a man who has left his
wife and children alone to pursue a quest, adventure, siren affairs, war, harems 
and other non-family-man activities?

I tend to think Horn's expressed affection for Nettle and even his continual apologies
for his dalliances to be sincere. I find it interesting that as a middle-aged author,
Wolfe used his young Severian avatar to express caring affection for the ancient, 
age-raddled dowager version of Valeria while the almost 70 year old author uses his middle-
aged avatar Horn (or SilkHorn as Marc asserts) to express affection for his care-worn
middle-aged wife, Nettle.

>David Stockhoff: ---I'm not sure the meaning of "newest" is so clear. On Urth, 1000 
>years could be "new," and probably is. Even 300 or 500.

Agreed. For me, the hint is saying that they have extra-terrestrial origins while the 
regular Commonwealth people have roots on Urth from its beginning. Did they arrive with
Typhon? Or did they arrive later to fill in a royalty gap left by Typhon's death and
the dispersion of his royal family.

(where did Typhon's family go? Scylla is mentioned in BotNS and there is more than a
passing resemblance of Great Scylla to Abaia in RttW. Was it Tartaros who rumbled
beneath the man-apes' cave? The mythological Echidna was a half-woman, half-snake 
creature who lived in a cave. There is such a character in BotNS also.)

>---I agree that Tzadkiel = cherubim, whenever he wants to be.

Yeah. animal, human, angel, male, female, Tzadkiel appears as all of them at some
point. Why wouldn't he be able to appear as a different order of angel? I kinda think 
Tzadkiel, or some piece of him, serves as a "fallen angel" (again plural?) on Urth also.

>However, there could be a way of disposing of autarchial offspring such as hiding them 
>in the House, where servants would keep them safe and ignorant, or dumping them as orphans 
>on a Guild (this was my own theory of Severian's origin before the Internet, at least 
>through the first books), or killing them. Whatever it is should be obvious enough, or 
>have a plain enough Byzantine precedent, that it need not be explained.

For me this is where the SF/mythological aspect is inserted. Instead of having virile
humans running this Byzantine empire, we have an alien/fallen angel type "Fathering"
characters here and dumping them off as torturers, witches etc. while ruling The
Commonwealth via the human figureheads of sterile autarchs.

The coin by which Vodalus first swayed Seveverian had the face of Appian on it and it was
later revealed to be false currency. Symbolism? I consider Father Inire, as a fallen alien/
angel type, to have a demonic quality (monster symbols mark his lair). I don't know if the 
Byzantine Empire had any famous "power-behind-the-throne" characters but such figures, from 
Rasputin to Cromwell to Wormtongue to Jafar, are often ascribed a satanic quality. 		 	   		  

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