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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Adam and Atom
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 19:19:48 

On 4-1-99 mantis wrote:

>>Without getting religious about it, the text also makes it quite
plain that death is not a terminus; so, not in anyway to diminish the
grimness of the Flood, nor to shy away from the "Anti-christ" aspects
of Severian; but still--who weeps for the countless krill eaten by
the whale?

Again, we are talking about a fiction.  The best fiction involves
Conflict.  Tragedies involve Suffering and Sacrifice.  Utopias are
inherently Boring.  Easy Solutions are Not Satisfying.<<

    Thanks for your response. I wasn't looking for a happily-ever-after
ending. It's just that, once the god-like powers of the agents of Yesod over
space and time that are postulated in the texts are granted, then almost
anything is possible. Severian pines for Thecla throughout the Urth cycle.
Death is no obstacle, as you say. He can have her, as an eidolon, as she was
at his "trial" and as he himself becomes. He can go back and save and know
his mother. He can have things any way he wants, apparently just because
he's "special". If the agents of Yesod were unwilling (but certainly able)
to do those things for Severian, he, at the pinnacle of his powers brought
by the New Sun, was able to do it for himself. He can work miracles. He can
walk the Corridors of Time. So why doesn't he? He, conveniently for Wolfe,
never seems to think of these things.

    The Hierodules bow down to Severian. Why? He wouldn't even be on my long
list of candidates for world savior. The only reason given in the text is
his "perfect memory". When did that become a criterion for saviors, much
less the supreme one? Severian is a thoroughly despicable lout, cruel,
callous, stupid, woefully ignorant, a murderer, and has the morals of a dog.
Eata was a better man; he could rise above his upbringing and leave it
behind. Severian never does. Jonas was a better man, and he wasn't even a
man. Severian is blown about like a tumbleweed all through the Urth cycle,
seldom in control of his own life for any length of time, a perpetual victim
of circumstances. In that, he is very like Green of _There Are Doors_, but
without Green's innocence.


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

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