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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) Appian's reluctance
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:24:53 

From: m.driussi@genie.com

>Re: the incident with the Book of Mirrors.  Granted that Appian knows
>more about Severian's destiny as future autarch than Severian (who is
>clueless at that point), and granted that Appian is suprised at the
>sudden request, thinking that he had more time, still I think this
>episode is more an innocent mistake rather than anything sinister by

Oh, I never thought it was sinister per se, like I said, maybe a
little foolish and/or vain,

>IMHO this is a human touch, a showing that it isn't quite a vast
>conspiracy, with everybody-but-Severian having 100% knowledge of not
>only him but their own role to play; or, the antithesis--that even
>the finest alien conspiracy is subject to bungling from participants
>who really should know better.

Definitely.  I think that this is indeed, one of the more appealling
aspects of the series.  It's difficult to imagine Agia being any kind
of willing participant in anything other than advancing her own cause,
yet she clearly plays an important role in several of the key
incidents in Severian's development.  I suppose many of the "players"
are unwitting.  Thecla's role seems to be to teach Severian something
about love and to perhaps give him a bit more "book learning" outside
of the practical arts of his profession.  But her presence at the
Citadel is also due to her relationship to Thea, and by extension
Vodalus.  Perhaps part of her role is simply to give Severian an idea
of what life in the House Absolute is like.  And of course the roles
change and the agendas change.  Juturna's saving Severian could serve
the ends of either "side", so what impulse guided her?


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

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