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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Re:Infrared, light and darkness
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 00:33:14 

mantis wrote:

>>Thus, by analogy: there is some sort of energy circuit that feeds demigods
and gods (for another Wolfe example: the way that the Earth Mother goddess
in the Soldier books comes to eat the blood of the human sacrifices--this
is the Blood Circuit, and it probably plays a much larger part throughout
Wolfe's work than we think at first).  We know from the text that Severian
is being powered by the white fountain (the Claw might be an independent
regulator or just a dummy light); it seems pretty clear that the light from
the white fountain can be blocked by Urth's mass (it needs a direct line of
sight), and in a pinch Severian can draw from a starship's battery, or even
somehow the energy of an earthquake (or was that the energy of sunlight on
the ground?).  In any event, Severian is something of an energy vampire.<<

    A minor quibble: My take on the earthquake is the exact opposite of
that; the earthquake was the effect, not the cause, of the energy exchange.
Severian was killed again (or at least should have been; he was hit by a
bolt of energy from a Star Wars-like weapon), only he can't be killed by
virtue of some sort of semi-divine fiat until the New Sun comes, just as he
should have died from the beating earlier that night. The text makes clear
that Urth is too tired and energy depleted for earthquakes--not to mention
the unlikelihood of such a coincidence. However it was accomplished, the
earthquake was the byproduct of the effort to preserve Sev's life.

    This is another incidence of biblical symbology. The mysterious rent in
the Curtain Wall and the tilting of the Witches' Tower are paralleled in the
Gospels. According to the Gospels, at the moment of Jesus's death on the
cross: "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top
to the bottom; and the earth did quake," (Matt. 27:51).


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

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