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Subject: Re: (urth) stealing apu punchau
From: Josh Geller 
Date: 05 Jul 2003 13:53:14 -0700

On Sat, 2003-07-05 at 13:05, Brandon Mason wrote:

> I have always just thought that Gene Wolfe didn't
> originally intend for the Severian that we know
> (Severian 2) to be the Conciliator and Apu-Punchau. 
> He might have intended these roles to be the first
> Severian, or someone else entirely.  But then when
> Urth of the New Sun came along I think he changed his mind.

I don't think this is so.

I don't think you are understanding the diffference, and the sameness,
between (amongst?) the two Severians. In fact, to talk of two Severians
is in some fashion an extended metaphor, for all that there are at 
least two bodies that we are talking about. Severian dies several times
in the story. In each case there is a bifurcation in his timeline. I
say there are several instances, and I can call to mind two right away:
At the duel with Agilus and on Tzadkiel's ship.

On Tzadkiel's ship (perhaps because of the special conditions which are
inherent to the ship) he is able to close the eyes of his old body.

Not everyone experiences these things. To a person who has not 
experienced these things, it may seem that this is some kind of
fictional strophe or analogy instead of a sober description of fact.

Remember the scene in the war, where Severian watches a formation of
'primitive' soldiers enduring bombardment, standing in formation, each
doing his personal magick, oblivious to whether others live or die. The
shells can go one way or another. If they go one way, one dies. If they
go another way, another dies. Perhaps there in other worlds, other sets
of them are alive and sound, or dead, or maimed. Perhaps there are a
very large number of these worlds.

Gene Wolfe was an infantryman in Korea.



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