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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) let it be, let it be
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 14:45:51 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

At 07:50 AM 4/16/97 -0000, you wrote:
>OK, TBoTNS was a *wonderful* book, but I can't help feeling that, with 
>Mantis' excellent Lexicon, and all of the time and discussion which has 
>revolved about it, it's being hashed to death. Why do we all continue to 
>read Wolfe's books, the same book several times? Because each time we 
>find another question, or the answer to a previous mystery. That's what 
>makes it interesting. I, for one, would like to see a few mysteries 
>remain in TBotNS. 

	I submit that lots of mysteries remain, because Wolfe is not through with
Severian. We clearly have not arrived at the end of his life. Wolfe says
tht Severian is on a search for True Love, who is God Himself. (See my
interview on Duggan's website). The three symbols on Severian's grave are
rose, ship, and fountain. The rose is not only a labyrinth (see Borges and
Eco), but the symbol of the Lover (since men and women are labyrinths,
incomprehensible to one another). The first 4-volume set deals with the
claw of the rose (and the coin of Vodalus, which sets things in motion, but
it not on the tomb). Politics is the theme. The next volume with the ship
(Church), and possibly the fountain (life). Good works (charity) seems to
be the theme. But I predict a future volume or set of volumes to deal more
with the rose. BTW, I've never asked Wolfe if he plans more for Severian,
but I'm pretty sure he does. 

Nutria (Jim Jordan)

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