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From: "A Aramini" <aramini@citlink.net>
Subject: (urth) Sev's direct denial of good memory
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 13:06:02 

One of my favorite lines in the whole Book of the New Sun (I'm sure this has
been commented on before, but I haven't had the chance to peruse the old
archives) is in The Citadel of the Autarch in Chapter V: The Lazaret.
An inane conversation with Loyal to the Group of Seventeen hides a wonderful
statement by Severian.
They are talking about how the Ascians only speak with correct thought:

"'The rest have thousands- I suppose actually tens or hundreds of
thousands - of those tags memorized.'

    'That's impossible,' I said"

    Even though it at first appears that Severian is denying that the
society and its practices are possible, he is directly denying that anyone's
memory  could be that good.
What a great scene. In my mind, this is very condemning of Severian as a
narrator, since he claims over and over to remember all those thousands of
lines of his book that he will perfectly copy on the ship.  He says several
times that he cannot conceive of a memory that is less than perfect, yet
here he is presented with simply good memory and denies that it can exist.

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

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