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From: "J. Schultz" <jschultz@wcnet.org>
Subject: (urth) potpouri
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:14:00 

I'm back now that discussion has turned back to TBOTNS since I haven't read
As the title suggests this is to hit on a couple of subjects that still
trouble me.

The discussion about the mine and the "creature" awakened has been
interesting.  While some have suggested its Tolkien flavor, I saw a
different author invoked.  Because of this I came to a slightly different
conclusion about the nature of the 'beastie.'  If you turned Severian into a
gentleman from New England at the turn of the century and called the account
at the mine "The Saultus Horror" it would be indistinguishable from a work
of H P Lovecraft's.  Beastmen, ancient cities, dark passages, and an
extremely large, ominous, demonic creature that is never seen but invokes
sheer terror in the protagonist.  Because I see the Lovecraft connection I
have always seen the "creature" as being malignant and in league with Abia
(who has more than a passing similarity to Chthulu).  Severian hints at the
possiblity (although he could be wrong, as he so often is) that the creature
is: 1) ancient  2)  asleep for ages  3)  woken by the claw.  The question is
whether the creature is awakened in the same spirit of the man-apes, in
order to serve the Conciliator.  OR  whether the creature is awakened by the
presence of something it wishes to destroy, its old enemy the Conciliator
(much like the salamander was attracted to the claw).  I find the latter
more plausible.  The fact that the ancient town and the man-apes are the
property of the autarch and F. Inire does not mean that the "creature" must
also be.  The burried town existed long before both the autarch and Inire
and its not hard to picture its halls being the home of some "ancient,
sleeping evil.  Too powerful to be removed by Inire, yet sleeping and
causing no worries.  I believe, as others have stated, that it may be Scylla
or Arioch.  More likely Arioch.  Because.......

A theory about Scylla,
Keep in mind I have not finished reading the Whorl, and have not read any
discussions in the other mailing list.  Forgive me if I am repeating things
discussed elsewhere.

Has anyone wondered if the Scylla mentioned in TBOTNS to be the same as the
Scylla whose personality has been programed into the whorl's computer?  This
may be a jump in logic, but considering GW's habit of making unrelated
characters and events tie in it seems a possibility.
It's hinted that rebellion against Typhon was in part led by his children.
And while Scylla is not the true name of his first born it is not unlikely
that she could have chosen to be called that on Urth as well as in the
Whorl.  Could it be that after the defeat of Typhon she took the route of
Baldanders?  Becoming so large that the Urth could not hold her anymore and
moving into the ocean?  She seems a likely person to oppose the coming of
the new sun.
Could Scylla be the young girl in the story that Jonas tells inside the wall
of Nessus?  The girl in the story is opposed to the Monarch yet carries with
her small black seeds.  She tells people to follow her or she'll drop the
seeds in the ocean and destroy the Urth.  Could the seeds be the embryos
(larvae, or whatever) or Abaia and Erebrus?  Casting them in the ocean would
eventually bring about the end of the Urth, in a sense.  In the story she is
torn apart by the mob, but we don't know what becomes of her seeds.  Could
it be that in some myths she is mentioned as Scylla, mother of Abaia and
Erebrus?  It is a very interesting possiblity.

J. Schutlz

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

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