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Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 10:05:04 -0700
From: Don Palumbo 
Subject: Re: (urth) Severian, memory, alzabo

As a few people have said this, it may be worth pointing out that the 
Autarchs do not use the alzebo drug to pass on their memories.  When the 
Autarch has Severian kill him and eat his forebrain, he points out 
specifically that the drug in the vial around his neck is not taken from 
the alzebo, but is a rarer, better, and more powerful drug.

--Don Palumbo

At 09:13 PM 7/8/03 -0700, Craig Brewer wrote:
>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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