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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Re: What Clute Said
Date: Tue,  1 Jul 97 22:45:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #2197133 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#

Speaking of strange thoughts (rana--I =do= know what you are talking
about, I've just never been able to come up with an answer for
Agilus's ribbon.  The comic book has his long hair tied back in a
ribbon, I think.), I was thinking of Clute's recent review of THE
BOOK OF THE LONG SUN in the New York Review of Science Fiction,
especially his point about investigation/interrogation/confession
which is always going on therein.

And I asked myself what would be the complementary motif within THE
BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, and answered, "storytelling."  The brown book;
Severian telling Thecla's tales of Father Inire; Cyriaca's legend of
the librarians; guild lore; town lore of Saltus; etc.; and much later,
Severian telling his entire story to Tzadkiel, then again to little
Tzadkiel beside Brook Madregot, and to Eata after the flood.  (And the
fact that Eata nods off at the beginning is simultaneously funny,
in-jokey [like how in URTH ch. 49 the poignant tag endings of the four
previous volumes is burlesqued as, "Had you been with me then, reader,
and insisted I walk farther with you, I think I would have taken your
life."], sad [in that Severian is losing his power with words], and
gloomy [energy is running down, hinting at the mortality that has been
haunting the whole volume].)

Which is neat, because on the Whorl they are all possessed by a drive
to learn the Truth (objective) and become ensnared by the veils of maya
(subjective truth); on weary Urth they while away the watches with
seeminly discursive stories which (might?) reveal deeper truths.

Father Brown contrasted with Scheheraizade.


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