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From: "Greene, Carlton" <CGreene2@hunton.com>
Subject: (urth) Floating Islands
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 18:46:24 

Just wanted to cast my votes for those who argue that the backdrop for the
events in TBOTNS is a much transformed So. Am.

In addition to Severian's description of the autochthons, the town of
Apu-Punchau, pampas, jungles at the waist of the world, blood bats, mate
(so. am. tea -- very good), and countless other references, I note that lake
Diuturna bears a strong resemblence to Lake Titicaca at the border between
Peru and Bolivia.  In SOTL the lake is described as an enormous freshwater
body at an elevation significantly above sea level.  Lake Titicaca fits this
description.  But the real clincher is the existence of floating islands
made by binding river rushes together to form platforms.  The Aymara indians
of the lake Titicaca area make such rafts, and  a small few still live on
such islands to this day.  They also make and use reed boats of the type
Severian describes in the Hetman's village.  Another note: I believe, though
its been a while, that the Aymara in the Titicaca area have a long running
rivalry with the land based Quechua that inhabit the shore regions around
the lake, the same Quechua who inhabit Peru's Cuzco -- ancient home to Inti,
the head of day.  These same Quechua appear to be the model for Wolfe's
autochthons.  Thus, I believe Wolfe's depiction of the rivalry between the
lake people and the shore people is based on this real, historical rivalry
between Quechua and Aymara.

One final note:  Cuzco (which I believe is the stone town of Apu Punchau)
lies to the north of Lake Titicaca.  Since Severian recounts travelling
northward from the stone town to the lake, could it be, as others have
suggested, that the magnetic poles are reversed in Sev's time?  Does he ever
talk about the sun rising in the east?


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

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