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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@pwstephenson.fsnet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Re: The Closing Door
Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 23:10:05 +0100

Roy wrote:
> How are we to account for the progressive closing of the 'jammed" door?
> What did Wolfe intend by it? And what of the time frame? Sev was no more
> than twenty years old when he became autarch, if that. He ruled for ten
> years, then was gone for forty more on his trip to Yesod. So, "a century
> ago" would have been about thirty years before he was born. What was going
> on then that began the moving of the door?

This is a fascinating point.  Here's my guess.

The mausoleum is the grave of Severian's alter ego.  At one level, this is
a real other Severian.  But the only time Wolfe works at one level is when
he's fixing the exhaust pipe under his car.  So it is also the ability of
Severian to be someone other than his present self.  (As recently noted,
Severian himself says that our real tragedy is that we can't be.)  As he is
ensnared into his role of conciliator, the door gradually becomes shut on
the other possibilities, the other Severians.

It has also been discussed here that the arrival of the New Sun started in
the past, before the present Severian was born.  The arrival of the New Sun
and the shutting of the door nicely tie the Severian we see to his destiny.
With the floods brought by the New Sun, his destiny is complete.


Peter Stephenson <pws@pwstephenson.fsnet.co.uk>
Work: pws@csr.com
Web: http://www.pwstephenson.fsnet.co.uk

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

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