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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Demons & Dragons
Date: Sun,  4 Apr 99 04:38:00 GMT


I can't tell if you read the part of my posting that had to do with
the time Severian tried to heal all the wounded in the tent at once.
So for one last time, I'll try a different example that happens much

On the Ship Severian comes upon a murdered steward (V, ch. 6).  He
tries to resurrect the steward and the entire Ship experiences a
power blackout as a result.  At the very least this is an
illustration of not only the "energy circuit" involved with
Severian's superhuman power, but also the tremendous energies
required for a resurrection (normally supplied by the white
fountain--and where is =that= energy coming from?).

Yet it might be worse than that: if you will allow a little
interpretation of the chapters which follow.  It seems likely that
the mutiny he finds when the lights come on was triggered by the
blackout.  And the mysterious winged being?  It seems quite possible
that it is not a jiber, but the opposite: in Beowulf terms, it is the
Dragon, of course; but in biological terms it is the antibody (the
Ship has been violated by the blackout); and in Original Star Trek
terms it is the mother-of-all-redshirts.

So!  Severian's attempt to heal one man results in a full scale
mutiny and the release of the emergency defense demon which
successfully kills Severian.

Yes, I am asserting that Severian's Narrative is "The Cold Equations"
(that is, the situation is "Periodic Table of Elements" rather than
"Let's bamboozle the lower life forms!") writ very, very large, and
without any of the lame loopholes.  Little Severian is blasted for
running toward the ring; big Severian is killed for trying to
resurrect a dead stranger.  It is all a fool-destroying, deathtrap
maze, and Severian himself dies again and again, yet from time to
time he still tries to help as many strangers as he can (or in
another sense maybe he is just a very slow learner). Personally I
don't think that the denizens of Yesod can do any more than they are
doing to help; and of course the enemies of the New Sun have the best
intentions as well (prevent megadeath and the destruction of Urth by
promoting slavery and the long slow death).

And yes, I agree with you that Severian is an antihero.

But maybe I'm missing your point.

Yes, I must be.


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

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