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From: Matthew Malthouse <matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Severian as Marcus Aurelius
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 11:05:44 +0000

Ron Hale-Evans wrote:

> Both Claudius and Severian backed into the throne, and both are lame. But I
> think Claudius is presented as something of a bumbling fool (though of
> course he often plays the fool as well), and this is hard to say of
> Severian. And Sev and Marcus Aurelius both lead armies into battle,
> something Claudius could never do.

Claudius might not have "lead" armies into battle but he did, iirc,
command them. Graves recounts the strategies of the battle of "Burnt
Wood" (Brentwood, Essex, England) including the use of elephants and
the stilt walking soldiers disguised as storks that strikes me as
very Wolfean, or better that the one battle Severian tells of has
elements reminiscent of Graves.

By the time Severian ascends to the Autarchy I doubt that he's any
more "lead" armies into battle than Claudius did.

But as to characters Graves' trick is to slowly lead the reader into
the realisation that Claudius understands far more than those around
him, and the reader, realise. Wolfe however gradually exposes
Severian's claims of authoritative memory as unrealiable - an
opposite process.

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

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