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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Sev's not-so-perfect memory
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 18:50:42 -0600

Blattid disagrees:
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


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