(urth) Typhon's Confidence (plus some other questions)
severiansola at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 1 21:27:57 PST 2014
>Marc Aramini: There are a lot of biblical parallels
>(usually name references like Dorcas/tabitha) in Wolfe
>Darrell Burgan: One definitely has the sense that something of
>biblical proportions is happening throughout the Solar Labyrinth
>series, but one is damned if they can put their finger on exactly
>what it is.
In my view, the trick is to observe that Wolfe uses as many, and
probably more, "mythological" references as Judeo-Christian
references. Gleaning from some hints in Wolfe interviews, I take
this to mean that Wolfe does not think of Judeo-Christianity
as evolving from a vacuum. The mythology of the pagan neighbors
of the ancient Hebrews reflected their own beliefs which portrayed
the extant reality of the ancient world as much as the Bible does,
albeit with differently named, though often cognate characters
(and events, like the Flood).
Thus if we are meant to understand Typhon's temptation of Severian
as parallel to Satan's temptation of Christ, we should take a good
analytical look at Wolfe's choice in calling this character "Typhon".
Surely the status of mythological Typhon as a dragon/snake monster
is meant to connect to the satanic link of the Edenic serpent who
tempts Eve. Moreover, the Greeks did consider Typhon as a rather
satanic being, especially in his cognate connection to the evil
Egyptian deity, Typhon-Set. Then there is the fetal creature called the Mandragora..
>Jonathan Goodwin: How can Typhon be so cavalier about the presence of>telepathic monsters in the sea?
I find mythological Typhon's title as "Father Of All Monsters" to be explanatory for this issue. His confidence in his superiority over
these beings stems from the knowledge that he is their father.
Scylla is named in BotNS as a megatherian (by the caloyer of Saltus)
and it would seem that Wolfe expected us to figure out the Typhon
parentage to the megatherians just from that one small clue.
Happily, he seems to have realized this was unfair to his readers and
he took pains to make it clear in Long and especially Short Sun that
Scylla is Typhon's daughter and that she finds expression in the
giant sea monster on Urth. Moreover I am convinced by the end of RttW,
that this Great Scylla monster of Urth is, in some fashion, also the
same being as Abaia, gender having no real meaning for such creatures.
Actually, having a singular identity does not have real meaning for
such creatures either (as we see for Tzadkiel). Thus I suspect some of
the confusion between Abaia and Erebus is that they are actually
partitions of the same original being.
There is even a mention, in Long Sun, of Pas' daughter Scylla having her
own planet to rule somewhere. I think this mention is a reference to Scylla/Abaia/Erebus on Urth.
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