(urth) Thea's Identity

Jeff Wilson jwilson at clueland.com
Sat Apr 20 18:56:38 PDT 2013

On Fri, April 19, 2013 10:21, DAVID STOCKHOFF wrote:
>> From: Lee Berman <severiansola at hotmail.com>
>>>As another bonus, the Autarch is the "self-ruled", or, more
>>> colloquially, "the boss of
>>>himself".  Who actually does what the Autarch tells them?  The servants
>>> of the House
>>>Absolute, and the army.  If both the servants and the soldiers are
>>> (pretty much) clones,
>>>then he is literally just the boss of himself. It's the type of joke
>>> that feels unfunny
>>>in just the right way for Wolfe to have made it.

Meh. The servants seem to have no trouble maintaining loyalty to the new
Autachs, and it would make the Torturers, Witches, Librarians, and
Stewards curious exceptions to the auto-cloning rule, as we know they get
at least some of their number from outside the House and Citadel. It would
bring into question why the autarch always has a great man soldiers but
never enough, and it would fubar the basis for your identity intrigue on
the raft.

>>Yes, as Dan'l suggests is so likely in SF, a metaphor that is literally
>> real. Ultimately
>>though, I think we may conclude that the Commonwealth is ruled by Father
>> Inire. His
>>letter to Severian starts with flowery flattery of the Autarch's position
>> and self-
>>identification as a humble servant. But the letter then goes on to reveal
>> that Inire
>>is pretty much running everything and will continue to do so.

Surely there being a power behind the throne is not unusual in literature?

>>>David Stockhoff: However, I suspect that the autarch is under strict
>>> control in
>>>some ways we don't know about.
>>Agreed, in the same sense that Severian seems to be under special
>> observation
>>throughout BotNS, by Malrubius/Triskele, B, F and O, Hethor or
>> monkey-like figures
>>or other mysterious sources. Of course by "monkey-like figures" I am
>> implying
>>Father Inire, and the thread that ties all of those observers together is
>> that they
>>are all cacogens (or at least have a space-faring history). Master
>> Gurloes also
>>speaks to myterious sources at the top of their tower, and we must
>> suspect Severian
>>was often a topic.

When does Gurloes talk to the voices?

Don't forget the doglike watchers, including aquastor-Triskele and the
cynocephalic babboon.

>>Appian hints that he, himself, had a Malrubius figure watching over him
>> when he was
>>younger. Also, Appian knows Severian is to be his successor from their
>> first meeting
>>and he even mistakenly thinks the time for succession has come when
>> Severian asks to
>>be taken to "the garden".

ER, this is solved by the Yesodi's foreknowledge being doled out to their
Urthly instruments.

>>(Damn, just thought of something- on that request for the garden,
>> Severian is shown a
>>giant winged being in the Autarch's mirror book. The Garden Of Eden was
>> guarded by a
>>cherubim (plural being) angel. Perhaps that's what Wolfe originally had
>> in mind and later
>>in UotNS amended the angel to be the archangel Tzadkiel. Given the
>> Genesis-Edenic imagery
>>we are given in Talos' play in the next section, I wonder if we were
>> supposed to make
>>that "Garden" connection. Maybe others did and I missed it?)
>>---I agree that Tzadkiel = cherubim, whenever he wants to be.

Ca plane pour moi! Especially since cherubim partake of various animal
natures, Zak recapitulates a bestial evolution, and Tzadkiel relates being
uplifted from extraterrestrial animal stock through many sorrowful stages.
Plus they do the thing with hiding parts behind their wings. I think your
compulsive bisociation has been fruitful here, Lee.

>>We can surmise that the autarchs themselves knew better than to have a
>> child (i.e., they know from past-life experience), but this still only
>> leaves us wondering (1) why the Yesodi test punishment? (2) what about
>> before they become autarch? Is each autarch chosen so carefully that they
>> must be childless? What if an autarch is wounded far from the House, as
>> Appian was, or in some sub-basement with only an unvetted old janitor
>> nearby? Did Severian's puppetmasters take visible steps to ensure he
>> didn't get anyone pregnant? (They certainly didn't stop him from
>> conjugating.) These contradictions don't argue for or against the
>> central-cloning theory, but I wish I could resolve them.

Again, resolved by Yesodi foreknowlege, as explained in the many-Severians

Jeff Wilson - < jwilson at clueland.com >
A&M Texarkana Computational Intelligence Lab
< http://www.tamut.edu/cil >

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