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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ifh.de>
Subject: (urth) Sev and Thecla in childhood + Free Live Free
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 12:30:31 +0200

Jon Camfield wrote:
> "...I played again with pebbles in the courtyard beside the fallen curtain
> wall, as Thecla dodged the hooves of my father's mounted guard" 
> (II, XXV, 204)

I do find it hard to escape the implication that Severian's real
father is intended, and that somehow Severian and Thecla combined have
worked out who he is --- what else could it mean?  No dream or
daydream in the Book is that alone, just as nothing real fails to have
the faint aura of a dream.  I'm not convinced it makes sense that they
know, but maybe a strong likeness with a bit of subconscious deduction
is intended.

Free Live Free:

I didn't really like this.  Part of the problem is Wolfe's
post-New-Sun style, which for my taste contains too much flabby and
unenlightening dialogue over trifles (all right, so at least it's
realistic :-)).  To go with the offbeat story, I was expecting more
sense that something deeper was going on, but didn't get it.

On the whole I quite liked the ending even if I didn't quite
understand how it all tied in.  The fantasy element seemed
unconnected with the rest of the novel, though that's not so uncommon
in modern fiction (John Fowles' `A Maggot' seems to have something
similar going on).  Maybe it's all down to Wolfe's wish to write a
particular sort of not-quite-mainstream novel.


Peter Stephenson <pws@ifh.de>       Tel: +39 50 844536
WWW:  http://www.ifh.de/~pws/
Gruppo Teorico, Dipartimento di Fisica
Piazza Torricelli 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy

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

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