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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) Mellow yellow pharmicon (remember?!)
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 19:46:50 

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


I lived in Bangkok for a time, and saw Buddhist monks in their saffron
yellow robes daily.  In daily life, at least among English-speakers (and
TBOTNS is written in English), the terms were used interchangeably.
Certainly no one referred to the robes as orange, and as they became well
worn (monks are poor) they faded. It is far more likely that the robes refer
back to Buddhism than to the odd American Hare Krishna cult.


>I wonder if there could be some difference attributable to Severian's

Well, of course, but by itself that just doesn't seem quite enough for her
powerful presence.


>Yes. Jonas is a sailor, so it would be natural for him to regard a ship,
>or perhaps all space, as his home.

That's not quite what I meant, as I was speculating about his home world,
but of course you are right, and I think he does exactly that.

>I've always assumed that Jonas simply escapes to a -place- where he
>can be repaired, rather than a time. (A place in our universe, that is,
>rather than some other.) One of the worlds of the Hierodules, perhaps,
>or some other planet that still has a viable technology.

That must be right. I know who could fix him up! Well, maybe Ossipago could,
but I was thinking of--oh, what is his name?--the talus-maker on the Whorl.
You know for sure *he's* going to turn up again--Silk's gonna need them Tall

>>Robert and Marie, too, could
>>have come from that place.
>I think if they come from anywhere it's the past rather than a
>parallel Earth, since it's implied pretty strongly that the
>Botanical Gardens extend into Urth's past. But don't forget
>that they may simply be "chant-caught" contempories of
>Severian. I've always loved that scene for its tantalising ambiguity.

Me too. And for the old-movie quality. Yes, I agree with you. I was just
scratching my head about Jonas, who certainly comes from the past, but not
that far into the past.


>The autarch mentions he has a pharmacon *similar* to the alzabo, but not
>same. No doubt it was much more effective to bring hundreds of
>into another person.

Yes, but Thecla's presence is very powerful long before Sev takes the
pharmacon. For me, it's just a little something that I wish Wolfe had
bothered to clear up. Oh, well, let's just call it the Claw's influence.


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

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