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From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: (urth) Following the Flood
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:08:29 

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

C R Culver <CRCulver@aol.com> writes:

>Said Peter S:
>>The part where he goes through Thrax holding the Claw aloft recalls `I am
>>the light of the world'
>This section is hard for me to interpret religiously, because Severian does
>release the floodgates, killing the prisoners in the jacal [gaol?]. That is,
>IMHO, not in any way Christlike.

Er, killing them?  Where do you get this?

That chapter is titled "Following the Flood" and I've always seen it as a
kind of play on the phrase "born again."  Severian is being reborn from the
torturers' guild -- literally exiting from confinement, head down through a
tunnel, following a flood of water.  His second birth should lead to a
better life than the first; we get a specific mention of the water's
cleansing effects.  *Definitely* in the Christian tradition, for my money.

>One interesting thing I did notice is Severian's reviving of Miles. The word
>Miles is Latin for soldier (actually, it is nominative or accusative plural),
>but it also can mean "thousand." How many people are in a Roman legion? A
>thousand, or some variation of it? 

Of course, it's also a measure of distance; see Severian's own explanation for
the name.  And note that even Christ wasn't above the occasional name pun!


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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