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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Strewn garments
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 97 22:16:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #0962161 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET02#


Right, there's the tassled hem (or whatever) of the pelerines which
Severian gets in the stone town (presumably given to him by Apu
Punchau, as it turns out later in URTH, if I recollect aright) and
which he then leaves in the shepherd's hut as payment for rations
consumed.  Good point--it is similar to the scarf, but in this case I
know that it really is a clue for the hero and I know what the clue
is ("find the pelerines").

Which is a set up for, among other things, the masque at Thrax where
Cyriaca (the adultress) is costumed as a pelerine and Severian falls
for it.  Then he falls for her!  Proving that she is guilty!  Then he
betrays his guild by not executing a client!

(Cyriaca escaped to Nessus.  Sometimes I imagine her teaming up there
with Dorcas.  Two Seamstresses . . . and Ouen.  Maybe they could open
up a shop?  Not in Cobbler's Common, that's too classy for them.  Maybe
south of there, near the khan with the statue of Night on its roof, across
the river from the Old Citadel.  Repair clothes for travelers staying at
the khan, that sort of thing.  Or gee, I suppose they could buy that
rag shop just north of the bridge?  Not at first I suppose.  Too

Now I realize that this next note reflects an obsessive nature, and I
apologize in advance.  On the way to the Sanguinary Field, Severian
sees a lot of red and yellow silk being worn by women.  Skipping
lightly over the "silk" aspect, in that same room where Silk finds
the scarf, he also finds sweaters red and yellow in color.  I don't
know what this means, I don't know or mean to suggest that it =does=
"mean" anything, but it is there.

MEANWHILE, okay, now this is kind of scary.  I was wondering about
color symbology with regard to the soldiers of the autarch, and
ranking within the Commonwealth; specifically I was thinking about
the guild tincts and the colors of soldiers' armor--gold, mirror,
blue, etc.  So what I was looking for was some scale that had gold
and silver at the top, down to black/fuligin at the bottom.
Preferably a scale in use in medieval times.

Well lookee here!  Turns out that heraldry shorthand uses numbers to
indicate colors.

1. Gold (Septentrion Guard, erentarii kelau)
2. Silver (Praetorian Guard)
3. Red (dimarchi of Thrax) (pelerines)
4. Blue (xenagie of Nessus, blue huzzars at Orithyia)
5. Black (Black Tarantines) (the torturers)
6. Green (green/black Guasacht's irregulars)
7. Purple
8. sanguine/murray
9. tenne'/orange
10. carnation ("flesh")
11. bleu celeste (color of Claw's light)
12. ashen gray (the librarians)
13. brown (the pelerine postulants)

Well okay, so what?

Hey, maybe "scarf" is just a punning reference to "escarpe" (source
of word) as "escape," since the scarf shows up in prison settings and
somehow sorta leads to escape?  (Scarf leads to manly talk of
prostitutes between Oosik and Silk, which maybe tilts Oosik toward
freeing Silk; peachy leads Severian to hints about the whip weilders.)

Now =that= is about as tenuous as a belch in a hard vacuum.  And
tangential as all get out.


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