From: "Don Doggett"
Subject: (urth) King Jesus/Autarch Severian/Calde Silk - Part One Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2002 14:58:11 -0800 Hello everyone. This is my first post, though I've been lurking around for months soaking in the great conversation and waiting for an interesting topic of my own. Whamo! As chance would have it, I had just finished my second reading of TBotNS when I came across a book I had never heard of before: King Jesus by Robert Graves. I immediately bought it and read it. To me it was a revelation, not just because it's an incredible and heretical work of art, but because there are so many themes in it that echo through NS, LS, and SS. In some ways (imho, of course) NS is a reworking of Graves' work (why had I never heard of this book before?). But enough intro. I'll dive right in. I think a list is easiest. 1. This is the obvious one. Severian's lameness and the wound on his face. This applies to Silk as well (at least the limp) but this has been discussed before so I'll move on. 2. This one is marginal but interesting. Dorcas appears in KJ as the playmate of the boy Jesus. While they are playing "Noah's Ark" she becomes frightened and runs away. It's on p.166 and it reads like Dorcas and Severian's relationship writ small. 3. Jesus in KJ is a product of the manipulation of bloodlines by devotees of the triple goddess with the goal of creating the second Adam. He is also the grandson of King Herod. Simon son of Boethus to Herod Antipater (Jesus' father): "What if this latest millennium should close with the appearance of a King who combines all the qualities of his predecessors: true born like Adam, sinless like Enoch, faithful like Abraham, wise like Solomon?" p.64 Malrubius to Severian in Citadel: "In you all the divergent tendencies of our race may have achieved synthesis." Silk is also an engineered man displaying most of these qualities. Jesus' cousin John the Baptist is also a product of these sorts of machinations, by adherents to the Goddess. (I immediately thought of Scylla, the undines and the Mother) 4. Severian's multiplicity of personalities has it's echo as well: "But Apollo, who contains within himself the shades of numerous gods and demons is now the sole master of Delphi." p.245 (I'm offering specific quotes, but these themes run throughout the book. It has to be read to be appreciated, unless I'm just waay off base) 5. Jesus to Mary the Hairdresser (Magdalene) servant of the Goddess: "Therefore my fate will be as the Father ordains, not as your mistress ordains. I am released from the jurisdiction of the Female; I have come to destroy her works." This conflict is reflected in NS and LS and especially in SS when the narrator worries over the intentions of the Mother. This is also the Jesus parallel that Mantis was searching for long long ago regarding Severian's execution of Prefect Priscia in UotNS. 6. Typhon. In KJ Herod seeks to reestablish the worship of the sun god Set-Typhon. In addition one of Jesus' marks of true kingship is a typhonic or red beard. This ties Typhon in NS and LS to both the red sun, which Severian the New Sun vanquishes, and to Herod. To further bolster this, Silk is described as having a reddish gold beard. 7.Graves says somewhere in the book that the sun god gives birth to himself. 8. And last, at the end of King Jesus/Short Sun Jesus/Silkhorn departs in a ship with Mary the mother/Maytera Marble, Mary the wife of Jesus/Nettle, and Mary the Hairdresser/Seawrack who is the servant of the Goddess/Mother. Note also the Arthurian parallel. I hope that I am not rambling incoherently but I find my discovery very exciting. It's given rise to some tenuous theories that I will post in Part two so as not to make this too long. Thanks for bearing with me. D.D. --