From: "Jeff Veyera"
Subject: RE: (urth) Severian and Horn's perfect memory Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 18:12:20 -0700 I've always wondered myself if Severian's commentary on his memory wasn't a grim joke regarding the infallibility of the Autarch. There are certainly gaps in Severian's narrative if not his memory---what happened during his long captivity amongst the Ascians, for instance? It is strange that a man who "forgets nothing" should neglect more than a passing mention of this. Alternately, if there's as much fooling with timelines going on as there seems to be, it might not be Severian's memory which is faulty---perhaps Roche pointed out the pikes in one world, Drotte in another, and this incident is a signpost to tinkering with the past. Of course, it might just have been a typo. Teflon -----Original Message----- From: James Wynn [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 6:35 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: (urth) Severian and Horn's perfect memory Jeff Prucher wrote: " the ability to record all the events of a person's life which is what Severian's memory does." and Chris said: "Now, with normal people who don't have Sev's perfect memory..." Crush goes off on a tangent: This has always bugged me. I don't believe Severian really does have a perfect memory, but it is interesting that he thinks he does. In "On Blue's Waters" Horn makes a similar claim that he does not believe he has "forgotten anything" that he and Nettle wrote in the Book of Silk. I don't believe Severian has a perfect memories because of the error in memory he makes at the very beginning of tSotT. A previous review of the archives showed me that Bill Carmichael addressed this question way back in Oct 1999 http://www.urth.net/urth/archives/v0028/0209.shtml but it seems to have gotten zero rise out of the list back then. Has this been determined to be a typo? If not then.... If Severian and Horn are not merely ignorant of facts, or concealers of unpleasant facts, or shaders of the truth, or even out-right liars -- but if their memories of events are just plain faulty as well, then this carries the concept of the untrustworthy narrator to a whole new level. But why is Wolfe playing this game over again? The questions I pose are: 1. What does the false belief in one's flawless memory mean in these stories? That is, what is Wolfe driving at here? 2. What is the connection between Severian and Horn that we are surely expected to draw from their shared claims of perfect memory? I am still winding my way through tBotSS, but I have a sneaking suspicion regarding the answer to the second question; however I have no clue about the answer to the first. Can anyone take these on? --- Crush -- --