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From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: (urth) Forgotten Names ... and Other Dangers
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 10:31:40 

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

>From: C R Culver <CRCulver@aol.com>
>Subject: Urth's Unknown Names
>Just been thinking lately about secret, forgotten, or just plain unknown names
>in the BotNS:
>1) Hethor's real name
>2) The real name of the town that forgot Fauna
>3) Valeria's second husband (who *was* he? any ideas?)

This one, at least, we know.  Dux Caesidius was one of Severian's military
commanders during the Ascian War.  He never appears in the texts, but we
do know that he looks something like Severian himself.

"Dux" is, I believe, a Latin word meaning "leader," a cognate to "duke."
The whole bit about Valeria's remarriage seems to be meant to suggest
Claudius's betrayal by Valeria Messalina, but Severian's Valeria comes
off as simply lonely, rather than nympho-bitch.

>4) The names of the planets beside Urth, Verthandi, Skuld, and Dis.

Wasn't "Abbadon" Mercury?  I believe this tidbit appears in Severian's
Night on the Bald Mountain.

>5) The names of the 17 Megatherians (doesn't really matter, though), or a
>single member of the Group of Seventeen

What makes you think that the G17 *have* names?  The captured Ascian soldier
in the lazaret has presumably had far less contact with Erebus, Abaia and
Company.  He's still human, more or less.  But he has to make do with "Loyal
to the Group of Seventeen" -- not much of a name, IMHO.  I suspect that the
actual components of that group will have even less individuality.

>6) The previous Lictor of Thrax.
>7) Cyriaca's husband.
>8) The name of Dorcas' ("Cas") husband.
>9) The Cumaean's real name, if any.
>10) The name (and purpose) of Baldanders' undine.

Oddly enough, one of the undines has essentially the same name as the
lake where Baldanders's castle stands:  Juturna = Diuturna, as "diurnal"
became our "journal."


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

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