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From: Peter Westlake <peter@harlequin.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v019.n016
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 12:08:46 +0100

At 23:03 1998-10-11 -0500, Robert Borskiwrote:
>> >But isn't the monial Catherine, uh, rather =short= for an exultant?
>> >I believe somewhere in the text it says that Thecla was Severian's
>> >adult height at the age of thirteen . . . and she kept growing, of
>> >course.
>Catherine is the daughter of an armigette (Valeria) and an exultant
>(Caesidias), so she may be less than full exultant height. She probably
>also has no khaibit (since I doubt her father is going to use her as a
>hostage concubine); hence no heightening or rejuvenating hormones. (Is this
>what you meant, SBear?)

Yes, that was it.

>>    Hmm... interesting.  Especially since the aquaestor takes on the
>> role of Master Palaemon.   But isn't it stated or implied that Severian
>> is the first torturer-autarch?  And wouldn't there have to be an RNA
>> transfer to Appian during the period we know Palaemon is still alive?
>> (Actually, do we have a date for his death?)  
>Stinky the First (ne Reechy) aka Ymar the Almost Just was a torturer
>autarch. And I'm not sure what you mean by a RNA transfer (especially since
>in all likelihood Palaemon isn't human).

Did I miss something? Also, what was the evidence for the Cumaean
being called Camoena? Or the Autarch being Appian?

I do know what Kieran meant about RNA, though: there was a theory
around for a while that RNA was the carrier of memory. Back in the
1970's (ish) someone taught planarian worms to run a T-shaped maze,
then fed them to other planarian worms, and put those worms into
the maze. They appeared to guess which way to turn more often than
chance would allow. There naturally followed a lot of stories based
on that, often making much of the cannibal belief that you could
absorb your enemies' strength and other virtues by eating them. This
account is taken from what I recall of the introduction to one such
story, so it may not be scientifically or historically accurate, but
it reflects the author's understanding, which is what matters here.
The experiment seemed to suggest that memory must be carried chemically
(cell structures wouldn't survive being ground up and eaten) and RNA
was a favorite contender for the role. I believe the theory has gone
away now, though.

Spectacled Bear.

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

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