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From: adam louis stephanides <astephan@students.uiuc.edu>
Subject: (urth) Hints about Conciliator from volume names
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 11:11:58 

On Mon, 22 Jun 1998 James Moar wrote:

> >On Fri, 19 Jun 1998, adam louis stephanides wrote:
> >
> >> I would say there is no hint in the first four books that Severian
> >> was/will become the Conciliator.  But I could be wrong.
> Just a thought about how the titles of tBotNS volumes might imply that 
> Severian is the Conciliator.
> Now, it is obvious that Severian is a torturer, a lictor and an autarch - 
> each of which appears as the second noun of the title on one of the 
> volumes. So, this might suggest that this is part of the title format. 
> But, in this case, _Claw_ doesn't fit.
> However, if Severian is the Conciliator, then there is a consistent 
> pattern of titles. Furthermore, it might mean he _always has been_ the 
> Conciliator (since he performs the functions of the title in the other 
> books, but is no more the Conciliator in _Claw_ than anywhere else before 
> _Urth_)

Brilliant!  (And though it's not relevant to your broader point, the
pattern continues in _Urth_; Severian is the New Sun too.  And there's
a pattern to the first parts of the titles: in the first book it's
something completely insubstantial, and in the succeeding books they're
larger and larger objects.)

So I was wrong: in retrospect there are clearly clues in BotNS that
Severian is the Conciliator.  I still suspect, though, that these clues
would not have been picked up for what they are in retrospect had _Urth_
not appeared.  In BotNS there is always a distinction made between the
Conciliator, who will *be* the New Sun, and Severian who will *bring* the
New Sun.  Before _Urth_ these two functions don't even appear compatible;
what sense could we make from BotNS alone of the idea of Severian
undergoing a trial to determine whether he was the Conciliator?  And these
considerations are even more applicable to the more ambiguous clues
cited by Dave and by Don Parmenter.

But here we're faced with the impossible task of determining how the
discussion of BotNS would have developed after fifteen years if _Urth_ had
never appeared.


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

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