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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Severian's Slivers
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 98 05:26:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #6021037 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET02#


I admire the work you are doing here, but I disagree with some

I theorize that Severian has Sliver-selves, or, if you like, he sheds
his skin like a snake and becomes something new--but the skin lives
on as the old self.  (Remember that whole "hologram" thing?  Each
fragment contains the whole, however distorted.)

So there are =literally= more than one Severian scattered in our
narrator's wake.

Apu-Punchau is one of them.  The Apu-Punchau Severian meets for the
first/last time in the Stone Town is the same one he meets for the
last/first time in the tomb.  It isn't "him" anymore, but the way he
was "then," now living on and having adventures which Severian knows
next to nothing about (e.g., when Severian finally gets out of the
tomb and avoids imploding, he sees Apu-Punchau going out to be among
his people again).

And remember--the vivimancer Apu-Punchau was called up in the ruins
of the Stone Town, or called the summoners back into the deep past
when the city was alive . . . but since Severian did not have that
adventure while he was in the past (i.e., he did not close the loop
at that end--did not see the same scene from the other angle, which
is what happens at one point in A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS) then it must
have been done by somebody else.

The dead Severian on Tzadkiel (remember: he saw a body there) is
probably another sliver--perhaps the one who helped arrange the
miracle eclipse via the ship's sails.  This "sailor Severian" is also
a top candidate for "who is buried in Severian's mausoleum," since
the heraldic crest (featuring a flying ship) would be especially
appropriate for a former sailor.

The Claw is also a sliver, or semi-sliver since it doesn't have much
of a body.  But it is quite independent.

Since we don't know what "Canog's Book of the New Sun" says about the
final days of the Conciliator, we know precious little ourselves.
Did he really vanish into thin air at Mount Typhon?  It may be that
once again there was a body left behind, which then reanimated and went
about its business.

How often is "entering the corridor of time" merely a symptom of
physical death?


P.S. Oh yes, one more thing about the futures hanging in suspension.
There is a thread that might be separate, but no, it ultimately leads
back into the Ragnarok future: the future that had Baldanders on the
Phoenix Throne rather than Severian.  See, the folks from Yesod were
quietly testing Baldanders until they could see which of the two
futures he would follow . . . once they saw, they dropped him.  Or
was it the other way--they aided him to make Severian struggle
against him and do the opposite?  (It is so tricky figuring causality
when they are moving =backward= in time.)


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