From: "James Wynn"
Subject: Re: (urth) Sev's not-so-perfect memory Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 18:50:42 -0600 Blattid disagrees: Roy, In most of the (apparent?) contradictions you list, you make an interesting assumption ... you cite Sev talking about an incident, then say that what he says is wrong, because it contradicts what he said in his direct narration of the incident. The point here is, what is your basis for thus privileging the direct narration, when both are from the same source (i.e., Sev)? If I were to privilege one over the other, I would be more likely to go the other way -- he's more likely to "edit" the incident when he's attending directly to it, rather than when he's attending to some other incident in which the incident in question is mentioned in passing. This would be especially true, I think, when the passing mention is in reported dialogue; it might not occur to him to edit the reported dialogue to match the edited incident. Crush butts in: I'm not sure I understand your point, O Leggy One. I don't think Roy favored one incident over another. The point is that Severian tells one version at one point and another elsewhere -- frequently just at the point where he brags about his flawless memory. The point is that one or both versions must be wrong. No, Severian doesn't "edit" out the discrepancy. The conceit seems to be that he doesn't edit his book at all -- relying on his inerrant memory to carry him through at all times. Or perhaps his memory IS flawless (this is a Wolfe novel after all so it would make sense if the narrator's lies were to be somehow true), and his memory is "reconsitituted" continuously as he says on page 2 of tSotT just before making his first error. So every version is somehow true. I do think that curly-wurly sentence is somehow (although I don't KNOW how) a true explanation of Severian's "memory" (if it can realistically be called that). Whatever, I still think the long ago comparison between Cugel's (of "The Dying Earth") and Severian's brags is valid. -- Crush --