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From: "Daniel Fusch" <dfusch@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Fairy Tale logic
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 18:06:11 PST

Hello, Michael.

"So it may be the case that some have gone "too far" in using a science 
fictional reading of Severian's Narrative, but it is within a context of 
earlier readings that were completely blind to sf elements.  It is a valid 
tool, but it does not have universal application throughout the text--yet 
often the only way to tell if a sf rationale works for a given detail is to 
actually try it out."

In the words of Tevye the dairyman (from "Fiddler on the Roof") -- "You are 
also right."

I wonder about your comments on an alchemical interpretation of Typhon, 
however. Typhon is connected both to the temptation of Christ in the 
wilderness and to classical mythology--and these connections seem to me far 
clearer and more useful than a connection to an alchemical symbol.

Here are my objections:

First--Piaton is not a woman.

Second--The two-headed man is a symbol all over the place--not just in 

Third--What does Typhon have to do with alchemy? Unless you're trying to 
draw a vague connection to the "dark arts" in attempting to "make" a 
man--via Mary Shelley, etc.... But that leaps back to necromancy, not 

Fourth--If Typhon is related to an alchemical symbol--then just what does 
that mean? Is it a statement about alchemy? Is it a statement about Typhon's 
science or society? What relevance does it have?

Anyway, I'm skeptical.

(By the way, thought I'd mention--I enjoyed your book! And, incidentally, 
another definition for Erebus--in Roman mythology, Erebus is the hell into 
which Jupiter cast the Titans who aided Saturn in attempting to overthrow 
him. And the Titans were giants, in one sense. Seems relevant, so I thought 
I'd mention it.)


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