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From: C R Culver <CRCulver@aol.com>
Subject: (urth) Oservations on the "Severian as Christ" Essay
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 16:54:34 EDT

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

Here are my thoughts on the "Severian as Christ" essay now avaliable on Paul
Duggan's site: 

<The first Concilliator is described as having a shining face>

As is the New Sun (Dorcas: "People always say in prayers that the New Sun will
be too bright to look at"). Of course, the NS and the Conciliator are both
Severian after his trial in Yesod.

<There is also a 'missing' name in the Holy Trinity; we  hear of the Increate
(Holy Ghost) and the Pancreator, but never of any son.>

The ties of Increate to Holy Spirit is interesting. I believe that somewhere a
character uses the term "Theologoumen," which I would say is definitely the
Holy Spirit (Logos). Perhaps Increate and Pancreator are simply synonyms.
Also, the term "Panjudicator" is used. That isn't necessarily part of the
Trinity, but just a description of the Pancreator as he is doing one
particular duty.

<Angels and archangels make appearances, too. Hierodules (holy slaves) are
angels, while hierogrammates  are archangels.>

I beg to differ. I would say that the Hierodules are angels, the hierarchs are
archangels, and the Hierogrammates are Seraphim.

<he Book of Revelations suggests that the Parousia will occur at a time of
great strife, and indeed the Ascian 
(Asians? Americans?) are in conflict with the Autarch's forces throughout the
main part of the work.>

There have been wars with the Ascians for years, no particular reason why they
have to be tied to the Book of Revelations simply because part of the war
happens during Severian's reign and shortly before.

<Could Hethor correspond to [the Wandering Jew]?>

I'd say no. Jonas has been wandering for just as long.

<Does Severian commit incest?>

If Dorcas is truly his grandmother, I'd say yes.

<Why does the mandragora in spirits refer to Severian as brother when
Severian explores the Autarch's rooms?>

Sev mentions that he and the mandragora are similar, and the latter, taken by
this idea, calls him "brother." That's my guess.

Christopher R. Culver <crculver@aol.com>
"Ignorance, that light of fools steers a wayward path"
-Brendan Perry

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

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