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From: "Jason Voegele" <voegele.6@osu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Hints about Conciliator from volume names
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 01:57:49 

>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.

Just to throw my two cents in on this one, I think that clues are strewn
about TBOTNS for all of the major revelations of UOTNS.  While I can't offer
proof for any particular case, I can say that I did not read UOTNS for some
months after completing the tetralogy, and I went into Urth assuming, among
other things, that Severian was in fact the Conciliator.  The most obvious
clue to this--as has already been noted--is the title of the second book.

In _Castle of the Otter_ (p. 297 of _Castle of Days_) discussing contract
negotiations for The Book, Wolfe says:

    "I responded with [snip] the suggestion that the word _title_ be struck
from a list of things to be controlled by the publisher."

It is obvious that the titles held some meaning greater than just using big
words and sounding good.  The symmetry of the titles is consistent
throughout the series, not only in the four individual volumes, but also in
the title of the tetralogy (it is, after all, Severian's Book), and also in
_Urth of the New Sun_

As for clues to other revelations made in URTH, I'm sure they are there even
if I can't find any at the moment.  But considering all the detective work
this group has done, it seems like a worthy case to delve into.

Jason Voegele

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

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