FIND in
<--prev V28 next-->

From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Latitudes
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 00:30:58 

SBear wrote:

>>Hallvard lived in the Caribbean, "South" of Central America. Keep going
"North" and you pass through the jungles, through Ecuador, and on "North"
towards the Antarctic icecap, which *must* extend further than it does now.
The ice at the other pole stretched right down into Britain during the
ice ages, and that was with the Sun at full strength.<<

I realize that your usage of "North" and "South" in what I quoted above is
intentionally wrong, meant to convey Severian's presumed confusion over left
and right, and does not reflect upon your own knowledge of geography. I will
just point out:

Both polar icecaps will have expanded on Urth in Severian's time, due to the
failing sun, and both the Northern and Southern Temperate Zones will have
shrunk in the direction of the tropics.

The Caribbean is in the tropics, roughly between 10 and 20 degrees north
latitude, "north" as reckoned both by the compass and the sun. The equator
crosses Ecuador, and all of the Caribbean Sea and West Indies are north of
the equator. The jungles you refer to in your scenario would be in Central
America and the northern part of South America. That well may be so, but the
jungles also extend to equivalent latitudes south of the equator. The bulk
of the Commonwealth lies south of these jungles. Lake Diuturna lies at the
northernmost limits of the Autarch's dominion, and is far north of Nessus.

To put it in perspective; Kingston, Jamaica (Northern Caribbean) is roughly
as far north of the equator as La Paz, Bolivia (South America) is south of

Even if Severian couldn't tell north from south, other characters can. As
Dorcas told him, repeating what her father had told her about bloodbats,
"they lived in the north, in the steaming forests at the center of the
world." (II, XXVIII) Or, having asked the herdsman for directions to Lake
Diuturna, (II, XXIX) the herdsman told him it was "to the north and the
west" and that he would have to pass through the stone town: "Try to pass
through by day, with the sun over the right shoulder by morning and later in
the left eye." Those directions are absolutely correct for someone traveling
in a northwesterly direction.

Finally, to remove all doubt on this issue, read Hallvard's "humorous" story
in the "These Are the Jokes" chapter of OTTER, wherein he says: "In winter
the sun does not shine upon our isle at all. For a time the sky grows light,
and then we know it is about noon; but the sun himself does not appear."
Hallvard's home isle is in the far south, close enough to the South Pole to
be subject to the days-long Antarctic night, far from tropical waters.

>>I challenge you to find a
single instance of his following instructions and not getting lost.<<

Last two pages of SHADOW, chapter V, Rudesind directed him to Ultan. He
followed directions and found him.

Chapter V, CLAW, Agia, in the fake "Thecla" note, gave directions to the
mine, which he found without trouble.

Chapter XXI, CLAW, the "cowled figure" (Inire) directed him to the grounds
of the thiasus. He found it without difficulty.


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

<--prev V28 next-->