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From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v001.n004
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 19:04:56 

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

This is from Reusch <newsun@freeway.net> :

>Well, I can't help but throw one question/observation out about Urth of 
>the New Sun. The writing style of this books starts out dramatically 
>different than the four which precede it. Has anyone noticed this, or 
>thought why? At first I thought that it was just less polished by Wolfe, 
>but now I wonder. A different author? Severian 1, or Severian 2?  Any 
>thoughts on this one?

Severian tells us when and how he's writing "The Book" -- during his
reign as Autarch.  Sounds like favorable conditions to me, especially as
he may have had editorial assistance from Inire or Ultan.  On the other
hand, it's not at all clear to me where (or when) "Urth" got written.
(Living amongst the newborn people of Ushas?)  Writing conditions might
have been adverse.

I'll toss out a couple of minor "New Sun" mysteries, because I haven't
seen these discussed anywhere (and not because they seem particularly
important.)  Does Severian suffer from spatial dyslexia?  He seems to
have trouble distinguishing left from right, and prefers to refer to
orientations in other ways, "good-leg" / "bad-leg" for example.  On
more than one occasion, he's given precise directions to reach some
goal and remembers them perfectly, but gets lost anyhow.  And of course
there's the bit where he looks out the left eye of west-facing Mount
Typhon and sees a battle to the north.  We never learn whether his
injured leg is the left or the right; we never learn whether his
injured cheek is the left or the right.  I think something's going
on here that I'm not catching.

Also, what's the significance of the Father Inire / Lewis Carroll thing?
I assume that this is just Mr. Wolfe paying homage to another writer he
admires, but Father Inire is awfully enigmatic for such an important


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