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From: Dan Rabin <danrabin@a.crl.com>
Subject: (urth) Severian = Conciliator hint in BOTNS
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 17:46:16 

We have recently been discussing whether the identity of Severian, the New
Sun, and the Conciliator is deducible from _The Book of the New Sun_.

I offer the following citations:

_Citadel_, X, end of chapter:

As Ava prays, Severian remarks:

``I, knowing no prayers, spoke without sound to someone who seemed at times
within me and at times, as the angel had said, infinitely remote.''

_Citadel_, XIV, 8th and 9th paragraphs:

Severian prays (just before affixing the Claw to the altar of the Pelerines
in the lazaret), and describes the experience thus:

``... I remained conscious of my kneeling body, but only as a peripheral
burden.  My mind was among the starry wastes, far from Urth and indeed far
from Urth's archipelago of island worlds, and it seemed to me that that to
which I spoke was farther still--I had come, as it were, to the walls of
the universe, and now shouted through the walls to one who waited outside.

  `Shouted,' I said, but perhaps that is the wrong word
I asked only that I might lead myself; and as I did so, I seemed to see,
with a vision increasingly clear, through the chink in the universe to a
new universe bathed in golden light, where my listener knelt to hear me.
What had seemed a crevice in the world had expanded until I could see a
face and folded hands, and the opening, like a tunnel, running deep into a
human head that for a time seemed larger than the head of Typhon carved
upon the mountain.  I was whispering into my own ear, and when I realized
it I flew into it like a bee and stood up.''

The latter passage is a personal favorite.  I tend to skip the hard parts
on first reading, and it seems like a typical Wolfean paradox on light
reading, like the Botanical Gardens transcending space and time.  The first
time I read it after reading _The Urth of the New Sun_, of course, it hit
me like a bolt of lightning (and a breath of air from Yesod).

The bit about locating his consciousness in a remote location is clearly
the same as the portrayal in _Urth_.  The second paragraph contains a sort
of Enlightenment, granted in response to the humility of Severian's
petition.  And it's all hidden in this reflective moment before the plot

  -- Dan Rabin

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

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