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From: "David Lebling" <dlebling@shore.net>
Subject: (urth) Infrequently Asked Question Answered
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 08:54:57 

> From: "Talarican" <exultnttalarican@mindspring.com>
> III:XXXIII At Castle Baldanders, when Famulimus and Barbatus set Sev
> straight regarding their lifespan, Baldanders interjects with "These
> live only a score of years, like dogs". His tone "told [Sev] more than is
> written here, for each word fell like a stone dropped down some deep
>  cistern". Aside from the contempt obvious in B's choice of words, what
> his tone convey to Severian?

This one at least seems fairly clear.  Baldanders' goal is, on more than one
occasion, stated to be eternal life.  Famulimus and Barbatus have "awesome
cosmic power" but very short lifespans.  Baldanders thinks they've
completely missed the point.

Recall that there is a certain strain of C. S. Lewis in the hierodules'
attitudes: Lewis believed (or at least wrote, in _Out of the Silent Planet_)
that space colonization and the desire for immortality were sins.
Baldanders embodies one of these sins, Typhon both; the cacogens neither.
Their humility is certainly presented as a positive thing, contrasting with
Baldanders' creepy Dr. Frankenstein-ish experiments (not unlike those in
_That Hideous Strength_) and later, Typhon's equally nasty attempt at
eternal life.

Have you ever noticed that none of Wolfe's space colonies seem to be very
happy places?
(Then again, I suppose none of Wolfe's _places_ seem to be very happy.)

    Dave Lebling
    (aka vizcacha)

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

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