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From: "Talarican" <chemmie@mindspring.com>
Subject: (urth) Infrequently Asked Questions
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 15:44:43 

I was interested to see the notion of a Wolfe FAQ floated a short time back.
It would appear just for the Urth cycle alone that in addition to the Big
Questions catalogued in _Lexicon Urthus_, and this list, and other lists or
newsgroups, an entire encyclopedia could be filled with Little Questions and
clues or conjectures about them.
Those competent critics among us always have always declared that Wolfe does
not write in vain or include interesting details for mere texture or
embellishment. With that in mind, B/UNS is a veritable mine (without the
risk of man-apes or stompin' towers, happily) of the Wolfean tossed-off
reference and significant interrupted dialog that to my knowlege have not
been brought up or at least brought to some semisatisfactory consensus or
agreement to disagree.

F'rinstance :
(references are to volume, with UNS =V, and chapter number, to avoid edition

II:XXVI Dorcas tells Severian what she could remember being taught about the
Conciliator, ending by saying there were other, frightening legends she
could not clearly recall. She then asks Sev if the brown book contains any
tales of the Conciliator. He states that he looked and "saw that it did" but
they could not stop and read at that time. So far as I could tell, there is
no further mention of this matter specifically in BNS.
_Lexicon Urthus_, in its summary of the known or conjectured contents of the
brown book, says nothing about any Conciliator stories per se. What did Sev
find in the brown book regarding the Conciliator?

II:X when Severian informs Vodalus of the Claw, Vodalus mutters about the
trouble it could cause him and his movement, then starts to ask "You must
tell me-" only to be interrupted. What was Vodalus about to ask?
("- how'n tarnation didja GET that, anyway?!")

III:XXXIII When Sev first meets Famulimus, Barbatus and Ossipago in
Baldander's castle (the first occasion in Sev's own subjective lifetime, for
those Urthlings inclined to quibble over how the Hierodules perceive time),
Famulimus makes a gesture which Sev describes as "meaningless". In the
following chapter Famulimus makes another "meaningless" gesture which this
time reminds Sev of the living statues of the House Absolute which seem to
have been modeled after Barbatus' and Famulimus' particular race. Maybe the
gestures conveyed no meaning to Severian, but are we to suppose Mr. Wolfe
went to so much trouble to describe "meaningless gestures"? What did the
gestures mean?

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

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