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From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: (urth) Re: Claudius
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 12:36:57 

CRCulver@aol.com writes:

>< Has there been any discussion on the list (sorry, I'm new and haven't had
>time to exhaustively browse the archives) of similarities between Severian and
>Claudius, both the historical emperor and the charming narrator of the two
>Robert Graves novels?>

>The point that comes to mind first is that both Claudius and Severian plan to
>write a manuscript they believe no one will read and get rid of it in a lead

The dead giveaway, for me anyhow, was the scene where Severian produces one
of 'his' aes in the era of Typhon:

    He examined it, bit it, and gave it back to me.  "Gold all right.
    Looks a trifle like you, 'cept he seems to have got himself cut up.
    Don't suppose you noticed."

    "No," I said.  "I never thought of it."

    Hadelin nodded and pushed back his chair.  "A man doesn't shave himself
    sidewise.  See you in the morning, sieur, madame."

Compare with a scene from "Claudius the God" chapter 6 :

    It pleased my vanity to have my head on the coins....  Portraits on
    coins, however, are always disappointing because they are executed in
    profile, and it comes as a shock, when one sees it in a portrait, that
    one really looks like that to people standing beside one.  For one's
    full face, because of the familiarity that mirrors give it, a certain
    toleration and even affection is felt; but I must say that when I first
    saw the model that the mint-masters were striking for me I grew angry
    and asked whether it was intended to be a caricature.

Robert Graves once did a translation of "The Lives of the Twelve Caesars"
in which each Emperor's chapter was illustrated with the appropriate aureus.


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

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