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From: Ouroboros <ottofaij@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth) Severian's lies
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 09:59:38 

While I'm not totally convinced Severian never lies
(but I am leaning that way), I will side with the
defense on two points.

Jeremy Crampton wrote:
>>>>>2) If Sev _thinks_ he has perfect memory, he's
not lying. p. 11-12 incomplete truth about the person
in the mausaleum and why it looks like him (I would
say this is a narrative deception to provide
foreshadowing and gradual revelation of Severian's
story--a "lie" by Wolfe then)<<<<<

Incomplete information does *necessarily* constitute a
lie. No one speaking however frankly and honestly
*ever* speaks *exhaustive* truth. I don't have Shadow
with me, but I believe Severian only says that as a
youth he would spend many hours in the mausoleum
contemplating the corpse buried there. The fact that
he didn't mention YET (or even at all if that HAD been
the case) that at the time of his writing he knew more
than he knew then does not make what he said a lie.
I'll also mention that if Severian believes
incorrectly that his memory is perfect, it is not a
lie to say so.

Roy C. Lackey wrote:
>>>>Also, he met Ouen twice and on the second
occasion, in CITADEL, figured out that Ouen was his
father. If he didn't get to know Ouen any better after
that, it was his own fault.<<<<<

True, and if he didn't, that tells us something about
Severian. Or even confirms what we suspected -- that
Severian is an unreflective autobiographer. But it
doesn't make him a liar. To say you "have never known"
someone is not the same as saying you "don't know who
he is". I know who the President of the U.S. is, but I
would be a liar to say I "know him". How do you like
my ironic analogy?


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