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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Severian of OED
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 98 05:38:00 GMT


I am cheered to see you so happy, even though it wasn't me who
started the ball rolling in this case--it was David Duffy who posted
the OED "Apheta" and his closing comment that "Severian" was also in
the OED.

Backgrounder for others: fact is, alga is credited with alerting me
to the OED "Apheta" entry some several months ago, info which has
been incorporated into the long heralded "Additions, Errata, &cetera:
Volume III."

The intended point of my post, which I hesitate to belabor in sight
of your evident happiness, was to say, well yes, "Severian" is in the
OED, but how much can you do with the information given there?

It makes you happy, so that's an unexpected consequence of the better
kind and we can let my question drop--unless you would care to
amplify upon your enthusiasm, and that would be icing on the cake.

Deeper background: yep, I listed that info for the Severian entry of
Lexicon Urthus (though I didn't tag it as being specifically from
OED).  And while I've always been fond of it, it still seems like a
dead end or a short run from what at first seems like such a
promising angle.


Right.  Well I'm not saying that you or anybody has to believe what
Robert Borski is posting.  I'm saying that if there is an attempt at
making the analogy "Order versus Chaos," with Borski here being put
up as the posterboy for "Chaos," then I disagree--the more apt
analogy is "Chaos versus Entropy."

Robert Borski is also asking, "Okay, so Clute can make these wild
guesses, but I can't?  Can anybody else but Clute do it--is anybody's
reading valid?"  Which in certain ways is a very interesting question
(ignoring that Clute has built a reputation and career over the years
doing the work that he does--still, he had to start somewhere,
without a reputation).

A very interesting question, to which the most depressing answer is,
"Clute who?"

Every reader, sitting in his/her solitary cell, re-reading Wolfe.
That warm 'n' happy glow of being connected with every other solitary
Wolfe reader, basking in that illusion.  Illusion?  Each is reading
an unexamined personalized text.  The differences between texts will
only be revealed by sharing notes.

Why ruin the illusion(s)?  The text exists only to entertain.  Who
would want to spoil it all, point out how the movie sets are all just
two-dimensional cut-outs?

If Robert Borski's wild ideas cause one to examine one's own text and
post a report of it, then Entropy has been thwarted for the moment.

Then again, if a person =really= wants Entropy, then she/he probably
left the mailing list already.

Is it (talking about Urth, or the Whorl, or any collected Wolfe
fiction) too much gnawing over old bones?  Do people hereabouts only
yearn for the fresh text, the initial rush of discovery, the coastal
cruising of new continents represented therein?  If so, then maybe we
should have a formal adjournment.  That we leave this place, to
reconvene only one month after the release of the first "Short Sun"
book; or maybe that is too soon--how about waiting until the final
"Short Sun" book comes out in paperback?

Anyway, while I've got you here--read any of the other more obscure
Graves books?  How about HERCULES, MY SHIPMATE and WATCH THE
NORTHWIND RISE?  The second title was evoked by Baird Searles in his
review of CLAW (IASFM, Jun. 1981) as an example of a full play within
the text.  I managed to catch two worn paperbacks, but haven't read
'em yet.


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

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