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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ibmth.df.unipi.it>
Subject: Re: (urth) Robert & Marie musings
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 15:05:42 +0100

"Tony Ellis" wrote:
> 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?

It's not even quite Deuteronomy.  The original biblical quotation is about
Moses, who isn't mentioned by name in what they're reading --- I forget the
term used, it's some generic SF grand-sounding title.

This brings up the question of language.  Severian can understand them, and
doesn't speak English, French or Zulu; it seems the language used by the
three is the local one, with the added touch that the bible comes out a bit
weird.  Everything in this passage adds weirdness by the bucketload.  I
don't think we need to worry too much about it being explained away.


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