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Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 14:40:03 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains

--- Michael Straight  wrote:

> Do the Hierodules have a particular love for the Commonwealth, or is the
> institution of the Autarchy merely a means of raising up someone who
> could
> speak for the whole Urth?  Severian doesn't automatically get to speak
> for
> Urth just because he's Autarch of the Holy Roman Commonwealth.  If that
> were true, Ymar could have brought the New Sun.

Why?  Maybe Ymar was judged unworthy.  Or is this something from UotNS,
about the memory of ever having read which I'm in denial?

> Does Erebus support the Ascians against the Commonwealth because the
> Commonwealth is some kind of Holy Empire that he opposes, or do the
> Hierodules support the Commonwealth merely as a means of keeping the
> evil
> of Erebus in check?

My impression is that Erebus supports (maybe even impels) the Ascians
against the Commonwealth because he wants to enslave everybody and the
citizens of the Commonwealth aren't his slaves.  Yet.  I don't think we
know exactly why the Hierodules oppose him, though the evil of slavery is
a sufficient reason.  The good question is the one you asked above: What's
the reason for the Autarchy, and what's its relationship to the Hierodules
and the Increate?  Can Severian speak for Urth just because he's Legion?

I don't see any kind of evidence that the Commonwealth is some kind of
Holy Empire.  The idea that it's somehow the heir to the Holy Roman Empire
strikes me as really sick (not that someone would have to be sick to make
the speculation, but somebody would have to be sick to see the HRE as so
divinely supported that it persists past its official dissolution as a
force for good).
> And, to return to the original point, how on Urth does any of this
> constitute Gene Wolfe expressing the opinion that rebelling against
> tyranny is wrong?!?

Not that I can see.

Jerry Friedman

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