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From: "Chris" 
Subject: Re: FW: (urth) Typhon, Sev, Silk
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 21:11:03 +0000

Thanks for passing this on, good post.

Dan'l said:
>I have a slight complaint with this: "You can't just kill the Devil,
>or the game is over." This kind of trivializes the whole Problem Of
>Evil[tm] as a game God is playing with humans; Wolfe, as a Catholic
>Christian, won't buy that approach for a New York minute.

I don't know that it trivializes it, but it seems off. I believe that if 
Wolfe believes in Satan, it's as an archetypal figure, a feature of the 
world. You can't kill the archetype, you can only kill manifestations of the 
archetype (which Severian does). That is, until the second 
coming/judgment/end-of-the-universe I suppose, where you're free to start 
over by different rules and tell Satan he's not allowed to play.

In this sense the situation of Jesus was different than Severian's, and I 
don't think any criticism of Jesus was intended.

Also from Dan'l:
>I think we're supposed to conclude that it has his face. Silk's
>"mutant" leadership abilities may be precisely the "face of
>command" that Typhon is so worried about. (The "true parents" of
>Silk's vision while buried dead-alive could, as has been pointed
>out, easily be Typhon's parents...)

This, really, is what has me almost convinced. What I don't understand, 
though, is if Typhon had the technology to scan his personality and he had 
clones to work with, why didn't he use them earlier back on Urth? Unless he 
believed in a soul which wouldn't be transferred by the scanning process... 
in which case, Typhon transferring himself to a body (Silk's or a 
hypothetical clone) wouldn't be intended as a way for Typhon to live on as 
Typhon, but rather an attempt to create a biological successor, a "son" who 
would be exactly like his father (who after all was perfect in his own 

This doesn't seem impossible, but leaves me with doubts.

Continuing on to Roy's comments:
>Mainframe. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in LS/SS to indicate that
>Typhon/Pas "got religion" or otherwise underwent some sort of miraculous
>transformation from sinner to saint. Garbage in; garbage out.

Pas "got religion" in the sense that he became part of one, and began to 
play the role. I have a pet suspicion that Typhon may have actually tailored 
the "Pas" personality to fit its particular role by tweaking or pruning here 
and there, rather than just making a perfect duplicate of his own 
personality; I don't believe there's enough backing evidence for me to make 
a solid case for it, though. What *does* seem apparent is that Pas behaves a 
little differently from Typhon, but I think this can be accounted for in the 
fact that really we didn't get to see an awful lot of Typhon and his 
personal life in NS, and the circumstances were different.

>who launched it. That Pas _seems_ to be a much more benign figure than
>Typhon, I won't argue with; but how did he get that way, if he is?

I believe there is an important answer to this, even disregarding what I 
just said above, and it fits thematically and in terms of common sense. 
There is a recurring theme in LS about people/things who take on roles, and 
*become* the part they intended to play. Silk does his best to *act* like 
the Calde, not realizing at first that this is all there is to *being* the 
Calde. Other examples could be brought up, but the most direct reference to 
this is when someone asks what would happen if a demon tried to impersonate 
a god. The answer is that they would *become* the god they were trying to 
impersonate. How did the "gods" become gods in the first place? Well, you 
could say they started out as demons trying to impersonate gods. Not 
all-good or even particularly nice gods in many respects - the pantheon as I 
understand it was intended to keep the passengers divided and at odds with 
each other, rather than unify them - but at the same time with *some* good 
attributes, enough of them to at least inspire some worship.

And, in acting out those attributes, they absorbed/became them.


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