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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Regency Plot 2
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 98 17:42:00 GMT

Whoops--Eata says that some of the gold coins had Severian's face and
some had Valeria's face, "or anyway some woman's."

(So it wasn't two faces on one coin as I misremembered; and the fuzzy
face wasn't "some man's," i.e., Dux Caesidus's.)

This detail sparks other associations: for the current inquiry we
will assume that the coins have Valeria's face.  However, the
mysterious coin of TBOTNS, which had a womanly face on it from a
model never really identified, a coin given by Vodalus to Severian,
turned out to be a fake coin.  Who was the model?  (People seem to
assume that it is the old Autarch, unmanned and androgynous.
Personally I think it is more likely to be Tzadkiel.)  Are all
"woman faced" coins therefore assumed to be counterfeit, or are
they just based upon the coins minted by the self-effacing old
Autarch?  (Seeing how much trouble Severian's portraiture causes,
in Typhon's era as well as after the Deluge, one can openly applaud
the old Autarch's strategy!)  And does the fake coin somehow point
toward Valeria's (future) counterfeiting <boggle>?

Anyway, applying details from "The Map" to Eata's tale in URTH, we
find that "The Map" must be taking place in 8 S.R. or 9 S.R., since
Severian is Autarch and "the law" (i.e., he hasn't left Urth yet,
which happens in 10 S.R.), Maxellindis is dead (so presumably Eata
has already been arrested, served on the ship, jumped ship in Xanthic
Lands, spent two years there, then returned to the Commonwealth;
since Maxellindis drowned avoiding the arrest), Severian's face is on
newly minted silver coins.

Since Eata's tale is being shaped by Severian's prompting, let alone
his recording, it is as unreliable as ever.  But if we take the low
numbers he gives, then Eata could have returned to the Commonwealth
by 8 S.R.  Making it a lie that Severian was gone when Eata returned.

And who knows how quickly Valeria remarried?  It may be that
Severian's subconscious mind wants to paint her black after her
assassination/execution, as if to justify to himself his own
unconscious part.  So Eata's tale makes it seem as if she only waited
a year, or maybe two, before seizing power and then elevating her
lover to consort.

It might have been five years, or ten years, or twenty years.  Who
knows?  These amounts of time might mitigate, might soften the
judgment against Valeria.  But to the heart, they don't really
matter--the crime was committed (women who wound Severian's heart
=die=).  So the two guys talking cobble together a scenario wherein
it looks like practically the day after Severian left, his wife made
her VictoriEvita coup, and then the next week married her Fabio
consort, while Inire pushed up daisies or wrung his wrinkled little


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

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