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Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 21:13:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Craig Brewer 
Subject: Re: (urth) Severian, memory, alzabo

Chris offered:

> As a final note (I have rambled too long), I've also
> wondered if perhaps Severian had a normal memory, 
> but came to believe that his memory seemed perfect
> to him because of the recursive-alzabo-effect I was
> talking about earlier. Even receiving partial
> memories an infinite number of times would lead to
> perfect recall, but only of *those* memories.

I've wondered the same thing, especially since what
bothered me about the alzabo effect has always been
that I couldn't figure out if Severian only gains, for
example, the memories that Thecla remembered with her
"imperfect" (i.e., normal) memory or if he gained
*all* of her experiences which might have somehow been
"in" the part of her that he eats. That led me to some
wilder speculation towards wondering if the tradition
of the Autarch eating the previous Autarch began with
the first Ymar who was HIMSELF Severian (with, again,
a perfect memory). The only way, perhaps, for one
"incarnation" to share all of the memories of the
previous one would be to "ingest" those memories
through the Alzabo.

I'm not sure, tho, that the alzabo itself is
responsible for his supposedly perfect memory since
Severian speaks as if he perfeclty remembers the
events before his first experience with the alzabo in
Vodalu's forest. 

Another piece of Severian-memory (or lack thereof)
that bothers me is how he gets lost in the tunnels
before the Atrium of Time. Granted it's dark and
confusing, but couldn't someone with a perfect memory
stop and retrace the whole thing?


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