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From: "Alice Turner" <akt@ibm.net>
Subject: (urth) Girl Power
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 19:41:42 

> --------------- MESSAGE urth.v028.n047.1 ---------------
> From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
> Subject: Re: (urth) Jolenta and Dorcas

> Well, it's possible the relationship between Jolenta and Dorcas is
> intended to strain our credulity--it seems unlikely that Severian has
> _witnessed_ anything, and I think there's a good chance this is just
> jealous imagination at work (and possibly a hint of Proust's Marcel's
> obsessive probing of Albertine's relations with women--although Severian
> much more matter-of-fact about it and in Proust the suspicion is
> while here it may not be).

That's exactly the way I took it. Dorcas's distaste for Jolenta is quite
clear and J's lazy disdain for D just as clear.
> From: "Jonathan Laidlow" <LAIDLOJM@hhs.bham.ac.uk>
> Subject: Dorcas' death in childbirth

> Now Urth does have hi-tech resources, but they are not available to
> everyone, and I doubt very much that they were available to Dorcas
> and Caron. I presume that medical knowledge for the masses was
> at best at a pre-20th century level, and thus if Dorcas did indeed
> have a difficult pregnancy, then she would likely not have survived.

I'd only half agree here. It seems to me that low-tech precautions and
training would certainly survive. They would know about cleanliness and
handwashing (as the 18th and early 19th c's did not), and a simple Caesarian
is possible with a skilled midwife and sterile needles---fire will sterilize
a needle and so will boiling water (can't you junkies boil water?!). This is
sort of important, since we know that the Torturer's Guild "opens up" its
pregnant clients. They are trained and precise with their own sophisticated
tools; why couldn't they perform a successful Caesarian where the client
recovered? Farmers have done it with cows.


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

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