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Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 07:52:46 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) stealing apu punchau

Nutria wrote:
>         Earlier Sevs did not have the  power to come back to life and to
>grant resuscitation. Our Sev did, and I've assumed this is part of why he
>could pass the test and bring/be the New Sun. I've assumed that a part of
>the SF aspect of the books, the Heirowhatevers prepared him as this person.
>         I also assumed that the Claw was a kind of sacrament of our Sev,
>extending his power, derived from him, and hence not from any previous Sev.
>         I guess I'm not understanding what you wrote. I await . . .

Who is that shadowy man striding always 15 years ahead of you?  It is my
future self, sending me hints for threading the maze that is being built up
around me.

In TBOTNS, narrative Severian has a sense that there is a future self doing
things for which narrative Severian receives goods and services.  He says
that once the first Severian passed the test, agents of Yesod came down the
timeline to investigate, retroactively complicating the horserace after it
was done.

The first Severian ("Severian the Cruel," as I say) passed the test, and
then went on to become the Conciliator.  At the moment he gave the
blood-soaked thorn to the soldiers, the Claw was born (like a sliver or
mini-shedding of Sev1 at that time -- like little Tzadkiel, the banished
one).  About 1000 years later this item becomes a teacher of Sev2 (our
narrator), no less a teacher than Thecla and Dorcas and all the other "new"
details thrown up to retroactively make the horserace more intense.  The
more difficult maze is such that the effort to get through it really
improves Sev2 into the optimum version of himself, and Sev1 is overwritten.

Time travel "message to self" loop thingie.  In Heinlein you have DOOR INTO
SUMMER.  In movies you have either "Groundhog Day," where the narrative
hero is going through every loop from beginning to optimized end; or
something like "Donny Darko," where it is the final loop only and thus more
like DOOR INTO SUMMER (and Severian's Narrative).



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