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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Robert & Marie musings
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 13:33:43 +0000

Roy wrote:

>     In the Jungle Garden scene in _Shadow_ the woman refers to the man
> thusly: "My husband wishes..." (p-168)
>     However, on the penultimate page of _Claw_, Sev recalls them as "..the
> woman and her brother..." Does Sev's famous memory fail him? Did Wolfe screw
> up?
The latter, I suspect. But, don't forget that there are actually two
explanations for what the couple are doing in the Jungle Garden in the
first place: Explanation One, that the twisty turny paths of the Garden
twist through time as well as space, and Explanation Two that these are
actually people from Severian's own time, who are simply "chant-caught".
If Explanation Two is the right one, then the couple really could be
brother and sister, and just think that they are husband and wife - in
which case Sev (and Wolfe) are still right on both counts.

Alga wrote:

> John Bishop, corncrake,
> You are certainly onto something! Here's just a thought, taken from the
> Britannica: the explorer-missionary David Livingston's father-in-law, Robert
> Moffat, was also a missionary to Africa.
Nice idea, but still too long ago to pass my "mail plane" argument. We
need to be thinking 1930s or later, I say. And maybe not much later:
studying art in Paris, 3-prop mail planes and taking quinine-water for
malaria all have a pretty pre-60's feel about them.

This is lots of fun, but in a way I hope we -don't- find out who the
couple are. I've always loved this episode for its haunting strangeness:
we're in a world so far in the future we can barely imagine it, and here
in a hut in the botanic gardens are two people from our own time talking
about Paris and reading Deuteronomy. Do we want this explained away?

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

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