From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: (urth) Time, Briah, 5HC, and other things Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 12:55:36 -0700 Rostrum asks: >Which raises the question again, are there no more rainbows on >Urth? And Nutria responds: > Is history running backwards on Urth, so that we are moving back > toward a Garden of Eden with a Green Man? I wonder about this also ... In my favorite passage in SHADOW, the conversation with Dorcas in the boat on the lake, is the interesting remark that "I, like you, would turn back time if I could..." (note that this is quoted from memory and somewhat-inaccurate. I am beginning to think I'm going to have to type the whole Lupiverse cycle into my computer!) Aside from the dramatic irony of the situation (Severian _has_ just turned back time and brought Dorcas to life, though neither of them knows it), it seems somehow relevant, though I'll have to post the whole quote (unless someone else gets to it first) to explain why. > Hey, I do have an answer, though it may be more than Wolfe > intends. The rainbow is generated by the sun. If the Old Sun winks > out for an instant before the New Sun kicks in, then briefly there > is no rainbow, so there can be another Flood. Can't recall if this > is so, though. It shouldn't. The White Fountain just drops into the Old Sun; it shouldn't snuff it out or anything. * * * * * * Now... Does anyone else beside me remember a comment in an early interview or something in which Wolfe suggested that these books may be taking place, not in our far future, but in our distant past? This is a remarkably relevant question, for a number of reasons, among them the nature of the Severian/Christ relationship... If this is true, then it offers a new and peculiar way to fit 5HC into the Lupiverse, by asking and answering the question: "Where did the Shadow Children come from?" They are clearly not natives of Ste-Anne; they have clearly been on Ste-Anne for a long time, and they have been keeping humans away by use of the "song of bending the sky" or whatever it's called. Who are they, when did they come, and why do they do this? Possibly-plausible answer: they are (descended from) humans from the pre-Autarchial Age of Empire. Obviously this would be a massive retcon; Wolfe surely didn't have the whole story of Severian wandering in his head when he wrote 5HC. But it's an intriguing possibility... Wolfe seems to like finding new possibilities in old things (which is why I haven't totally abandoned the idea that he might have retconned the Cumaean into an inhuma). It would also allow for the possibility that there are no rainbows in the time of the Autarchs... --Blattid --