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From: "Clifford Drane" <dranec@hotmail.com>
Subject: (urth) the point of it all
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 21:58:48 CST

Daniel wrote, long ago...

>Indeed, in Severian's own time, there are different types of stories. There 
>is the story told by Loyal to the Group of Seventeen, for example. There is 
>Foila's story, which resembles a medieval romance. There is Melito's story, 
>which is like a classical fable. There is also Hallvard's story, which is 
>realism. Note that Severian never gets the chance to judge between these 
>stories; nor does he tell the reader what judgement he might make. The 
>implication is that all four are worthy.

I disagree that the implication (hence lesson of this mini-story) is that 
all four are worthy - even if they are. I have always thought that this 
story illustrates the fact that there is not always a happy ending, and in 
many cases, no 'ending' at all. This, to me, is the ultra-refined meaning of 
the Urth Books. The Grand Unification Theory, if you will. :)

It's very Asian, almost Zen - the meaning of life is meaninglessness. The 
storytelling contest has no end - and that IS the end.

The Urth books are filled to the brim with nuances, mysteries, etc. which we 
love love love to ponder on this board - and the books seem to illustrate 
the point that life is full of things we will never fully grasp, chains of 
events of which we will never understand the links (no matter how powerful 
we become). Gene has created a narrative about an imperfect world told by an 
imperfect author, imperfectly. Just like real life.

I've caught myself digging through the archives, searching for the answer to 
some riddle, with the overriding thought that someday, this will all become 
clear. But it won't - and THAT is the point.

Well, in MY opinion. :)

Cliff Drane

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