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Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 14:16:23 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) crucifixion

Someone commented a little while ago on the obvious lack of a crucifixion in 
the allegorical schema of the Sun books... and it depends how allegorical you 
want to get.  Terminus Est is obviously a cross, and it causes Severian to 
stumble three times when he is fleeing thrax through the underground dungeon 
which is being flooded.  When little Severian dies, Severian plants the sword 
in the ground and uses it to step up, just like the cross allows Jesus to 
ascend (indirectly, of course; I am aware of his 3 day detour). The sword 
really does seem like a cross planted in the ground on that particular 
occassion, especially in light of the "sacrifice" of little Severian.  Indeed, 
I think Sword of the Lictor in its entirety is about 70% allegory.  Jeez, 
Typhon even asks the same questions as Satan.  
When Severian is walking around the ship on The Urth of the New Sun, he is 
suddenly grabbed by some force and his arms are brought out to both his sides 
as he is suspended in the air.  This is also a type of crucifixion scene, 
where his eidolon is disbursed before being reconstituted elsewhere.  (I would 
also argue that Wolfe tries to tie in the symbol of crucifixion with that of 
the flood by constantly having Severian lose his sword in water; eschatology 
and genesis, as it were).
In the Short Sun books, I would argue that the crucifixion imagery (and let us 
not forget the saving aspects of crucifixion) occur when ...... can you see 
where I'm going? .......
Horn gets eaten by a tree (remember the Dante allegorical association: the 
tree of knowledge of good and evil was used to make the cross of Jesus)and 
falls into a pit where he is trapped, before he rises. He is probably killed 
and resurrected there. Ultimately, resting at the base of a tree at the end of 
On Blue's Water is a more gentle and affirming way for Horn's spirit to move 
on into Babbie. But the idea that being strung up on a tree, followed by being 
cast into hell, matches that Horn scene on the island pretty well, after which 
he seems to be part of "another world" in his perceptions.  It also creates 
the "saved people" (in my analysis, anyway).
Marc Aramini


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