FIND in
<--prev V20 next-->

From: "Alex David Groce" <adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu>
Subject: (urth) Severian & St. Peter
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 14:55:56 

	I was talking to a friend at lunch who took John Kessel's Fantasy
Literature class last year.  When I took the class several years ago, he taught
Shadow & Claw (which prompted my third read of both), and this year Kessel
taught the whole BOTNS (without Urth, which my friend hasn't read).  My friend
wrote his term paper on a thesis Kessel hadn't seen before:  Severian as an
Apostolic figure, specifically Peter.
	I haven't seen the paper, but his basic argument runs like this:  Wolfe
has said that Severian is a Christian figure, rather than specifically a Christ
figure.  It's St. Peter who actually raises Dorcas in Acts.  It's also Peter
that rebukes Simon Magus (Cyrix) after he tries to buy the Gifts of the Holy
Spirit.  Peter's definitely NOT perfect (thrice-denying Christ, the rebuke just
after his recognition of Christ, his early views on circumcision and the Law,
etc.) and in fact is the one Apostle we see as violent--he cuts off the ear of
a Roman soldier in the garden (Christ heals the man and rebukes Peter).  So,
maybe Severian is (at least partly) a version of Peter:  he's also a flawed,
violent man who fails to understand much of what is going on but carries out
the will of the Increate and at times has astonishing insights into the Truth,
he raises a Dorcas from the grave and runs into Simon Magus/Cyrix, and is, in a
sense, the first head of a new "Church" on Urth.  This would create an
interesting correlation between the Autarchy and the Papacy.  Severian's role
then in bringing the New Sun would be somewhat like the role of the Apostles
after Pentecost (which is the experience in Briah?) in spreading the Word.  I
think that's the concept in a nutshell.
	Any opinions (if anyone's interested, I'll offer a better version of
the idea if I can get ahold of my friend's paper.)
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." - John 8:32
Alex David Groce (adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu)
Senior (Computer Science/Multidisciplinary Studies in Technology & Fiction)
'98-99 NCSU AITP Student Chapter President
608 Charleston Road, Apt. 1E (919)-233-7366

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

<--prev V20 next-->