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From: Jon Camfield <GriffJon@Mail.UTexas.edu>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v019.n010
Date: Mon, 05 Oct 1998 22:26:55 

>Mark Millman writes:
>[snip!]  The name may be the result
>of witches' having use-names and true-names; the
>designation "witches" implies study or use of magic, and
>we know that at least some magic does work on Urth, as
>Severian's duel with Declan demonstrates.  Hiding one's
>true name to prevent its being used in hostile magic is a
>widely-distributed, very ancient magical practice.

Two things-- Magic in Urth is very very limited, and for all intents and
purposes does not exist (according to Wolfe) the Declan duel Wolfe
describes as more psionic and hypnoyic than anything else.  

Of course, this doesn't mean that the Witches don't hide the true name, or,
in truth, never even knew the true name.  Sev was supposedly born in the
Obuilette ar right before Catherine was put in it.  If he had a twin
sister, she would have been given to the witches possibly without giving
them her given name, whilst Severian kept his as he remained in the tower
with his mother for longer (note that Sev doesn't remember a sister when he
finally remembers his mother)

I think Barbea is unlikely as a candidate as she is a khaibit and therefore
a clone of the original (somewhere I think Inire or Apian came out and said
that directly).  Merryn is a candidate only because she has little to no
other plot value (reference to the Catherine of the wheel-- what other plot
importance does that woman have?), and is a witch.

In somewhat of a ironic idea (Wolfe employ irony? never!) Sev's sister
could be an unmentioned person in the Healer's Tower.  Master Gurloes
mentions this tower in one of his rambling lectures to Sev (in which he
tends to drop hints he probably shouldn't), but it is never made issue
again.  The sister would be a 'light' sister to contrast with Sev's 'dark'
upbringing, and would be a healer, in line with the Pelerine thread, and
would still be within the complex of the Citadel.

...Or this could all be a red herring.  Many road signs (some of which
exist) pointing towards a nothingness.

My $0.04 (inflation's a bitch.)

Jon Camfield      "GriffJon"  	|Webmaster, Plan II Honors Program:
GriffJon@mail.utexas.edu   	| www.dla.utexas.edu/~plan2
Homepage, Gallery, Resume:	|Channel Manager, Undernet #Poetry
 ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~griffjon 	| www.tripod.com/~ircpoetry
"The most incomprehensible fact about nature is that it is comprehensible"
-- Albert Einstein

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

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