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From: "Daniel Fusch" <dfusch@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) the points of it all
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 13:50:52 PST

Hi, Cliff!

I just need to disagree with you about ONE more thing. I think you're 
reading Severian wrong.

"I can't imagine Sev *not* judging the contest, had they lived. He's an 
executioner - very used to making decisions and not getting emotionally 
invested in the consequences of his judgments. I think he would have judged, 
if the attack had not occured."

Severian tells us, however, that torturers are not supposed to make 
decisions or judgements. Their task is blind, unquestioning obedience to the 
decisions passed down to them by the proper authorities. Severian even tells 
us that he feels extremely uncomfortable when placed in the position of 
judge, is that he has developed an extreme aversion to judging, so that he 
is glad when Foila keeps postponing the judgement.

And I would also argue that the death of the contestants does not render 
their dreams and their desires meaningless at all. Their dreams are 
preserved in the stories, and their love is preserved through the stories 
(the stories, after all, were told in order to win Foila's hand--except for 
Foila's story, which was set against the others). By recording the stories, 
Severian ensures that their lives--and their deaths--are NOT meaningless.

But I agree with most of your other points.


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