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From: "Talarican" <chemmie@mindspring.com>
Subject: (urth) Still More Infrequently Asked Questions
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 09:57:16 

I:V Adolescent Sev asks Rundesind, whom he just met in the pinakotheken,
regarding the class of armigers: "What possible help can they give the
world?". Rundesind replies "Why, what help was they to begin? Do you know?".
(There is the obvious facile answer that armigers are a legacy of an ancient
militaristic equestrian class, but why was this question brought up and just
left hanging if there isn't more to it than that? Or was Wolfe's point
merely to have Rundesind chide young Sev about presuming to criticize social
structures he does not understand?)

I:V Why is the "room maintained  [by the librarians]... against the return
of the Autarch Sulpicius" with its "great ebony [book]case"? Was this added
for texture, or is there some significance to it? What is the story behind
that? Do the librarians seriously expect Sulpicius to return? And what is he
supposed to do with that room when he does? Or, as is more likely, he issued
an edict during his reign reserving the room, which his successors never got
around to rescinding or following up on? Was he a benefactor of the library,
or perhaps an antagonist? Is the bookcase indeed empty, as Mantis and others
presume? (I don't see much support for that in the text, except to explain
why "no one ever goes" into the room.) Or else what is meant by "maintain"?
If there are books being saved for him, of what sort are they? ( the lost
archives evidently have a pretty liberal "reserve" policy, at least for
autarchs <g>).
(come to think of it, as one of Severian the Great's predecessors, Sulpicius
did indeed eventually return to the Library)

I:XI The child Severian once speculated that the mysterious young woman who
plays Katherine annually at the Feast might be a witch, but by the following
year he learned "such disrespect would not be tolerated." What does that
statement mean? Who is being dissed here: Holy Katherine, the young woman,
or the witches?

I:XV when Severian and Dr. Talos first meet in the inn, Talos remarks, upon
learning Sev is a torturer, "You're a tall fellow - that's a shame - ...".
What did he mean by that? Is there some reason torturers should be short?
(low ceilings in the oubliette? <g> Or perhaps Talos is already sizing Sev
up as a possible actor, as Talos is disposed to view everyone he meets in
terms of their potential immediate usefulness to him and his master)

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

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