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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Jonas & Hethor & Thecla
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 10:39:02 

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

On Tue, 24 Mar 1998, Alice Turner wrote:

> On another subject, It has always bothered me that Severian seems to take
> for granted that his relationship with the inner Thecla is unique. But the
> alzabo drug would be expected to cause a similar effect in everyone who ate
> that meal. Moreover, Vodalus & Co. have done this before, with other
> corpses. I suppose that one could explain this by saying that the alzabo
> effect is ordinarily powerful but temporary ("a fellow mortal who will live
> again--strongly, for a time--in us")---like an LSD experience, say---but
> that the presence of the Claw, or something in his heritage, somehow
> imprints Thecla on Sev in a unique way. Nevertheless, this isn't explained,
> and it's weird to think of a couple of dozen or so people all experiencing
> Thecla the way Sev does.

I wonder if there could be some difference attributable to Severian's
memory.  Perhaps for everyone else the sharing of Thecla is a fleeting
thing, but since Severian can't forget, Thecla is always with him.  Have
you read "The Hemmingway Hoax" by Joe Haldeman?  A nifty novella featuring
a protagonist with an eidetic memory that has an interesting side effect.

Except that all the autarchs are supposed to share all the memories of the
previous ones.  So we could still save the idea if the autarch's alzabo is
more powerful, so that autarchs always have the experience that Severian
only has with Thecla because of his perfect memory.


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

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