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From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re:  (urth) Adam and Eve
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 07:10:34 

This is Sean Whalen (prion).

---Tony Ellis wrote:
> Christopher R. Culver wrote:
> >WHAT?!?! That's the wackiest solution yet (though I'm not saying
> >wrong). Sev's children by whom? Can you  give textual references?
> :-) I've been living with this solution for so long now it's rather a
> pleasant surprise to hear it called "wacky". 
> The relevant quote is in the final chapter of Urth (Chapter LI), where
> Severian is chatting with his priest. He remembers the young officer
> reporting that Hierodules had landed a man and woman on the grounds of
> the House Absolute: "Remembering that, it was simple enough to guess
> my priest's forbears had been - the sailors routed by my memories had
> paid for their defeat with their pasts, just as I would have lost the
> future of my descendants had my own past been defeated."
> "my descendants" seems pretty unequivocal here.
> I have always assumed that they are Sev's children by Apheta. Apheta,
> don't forget, is by her own admission "ready to mate" when she and
> Severian make love. And what truly cosmic sex they have: "Lying on my
> back, I entered Yesod. Or say, rather, Yesod closed about me... There
> was something born between Yesod and Briah when I met with Apheta upon
> that divan... That something was myself." (Chapter XX.) 
> Something born between Yesod and Briah? Ushas, surely?

When I read this passage the first time, I assumed that Severian still
knew or believed that if he failed the test in Yesod, he still would
have been castrated and lost the chance to sire any offspring in an
imperial dynasty.

However, I will now look at additional meanings this might have, given
that I could not nor can now understand why Severian didn't believe
them about his not being castrated.

If Severian believes the naked people left by the Hierodules are the
sailors he defeated in Yesod, it seems difficult to believe that they
are the children of Severian and Apheta.  The sailors he defeats are
natives of Urth, and I don't think that Apheta could produce that many
different-looking children or put them in places on Urth where they
would be able to grow up, or where they would develop the urge to
become sailors on the ship.

The other candidate you might have for the mother is Burgundofara, who
Severian might have impregnated, but unless you mean children in the
sense of descendants, this wouldn't work either.

What I NOW think Severian meant about the future of his descendants is
quite different.  If Severian had lost in the fight, he would not have
gained the white fountain and would have been unable to travel in
time. He never would have been in the far past among the South
Americans as Apu Punchau.  Severian never mentions having sex during
that period, but, based on prior information, if some women wanted to
throw themselves on the great Head of Day, Severian probably wouldn't
have objected.  If this is the case, then by the "current" time,
Severian is one of the direct ancestors of everyone on Urth, including
the Urthlings who became sailors on the ship as well. The comment in
the closing chapters is not specifically about the defeated sailors
being his children, but about all men now being his ancestors
(including himself).

About Apheta's child:  some have previously determined that this is
the joining of dimensional energies that allows the white fountain to
be produced on Briah.  I'm not completely sure, but this is an
alternative to your theories, if you need one.

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