From: "James Wynn"
Subject: Re: (urth) Silkhorn's memory; Sev's book Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 07:35:10 -0600 Charles takes Crush to task: > Howdy Crush. It's been a long time since I've posted to the group, > but I've been following the discussion intermittently (as my limited > time allows) and wanted to point something out: You quoted On > Blue's Waters...You then go on to say in pointing out the parallel > with Severian that: "Horn limits his perfect memory to *events* > [my emphasis] in his book." ...Horn is not claiming his memory of > *events* in the book to be infallible; he is merely claiming that he > has forgotten nothing of what he *wrote* in the book. These are > two entirely different things. I think the only real similarity between > Horn and Severian (at least as far as their abilities to remember) is a > thematic one....I don't even see is as abnormal, given the fact that he > spent nearly every evening for (what I would guess to be) well over a > decade writing it and re-writing it and re-writing it again. It is his > life's work -- as opposed to being his vocation...There are stories I > wrote in junior high that I still recall with extraordinary vividness > because of the energy I invested in them at the time. Writing > something down on a piece of paper is extraordinarily powerful in its > ability to imprint something strongly in memory. Crush responds: Hey Charles, Thanks for the reply. I concur. Sev's and Horn's claims are thematically linked -- Horn does not claim to have a generally eidetic memory. I also agree that had Horn not said anything, I would have never doubted that he remembered everything he "put into" "The Book of Silk." By the same token, with Sev as a first-person narrator, I would never have doubted, whatever his lies, that he remembered without error the events in which he took part. So why do they both -- particularly Horn think anyone would not have believed them? I am saying this little claim of Horn's is surely a *parody* of Severian's claim. tBotNS is Wolfe's most famous work. Probably among the top two most well-remembered motifs of the story-telling in that book is Sev's constant -- constant -- harping on his immutable memory. In both cases we have a superfluous extolling of memory. Not an impressive brag on Horn's part *except that he makes it at all.* It was not the substance of the claims (except that they are both about memory), but the choice to make them that I found striking. So.... for me, I wonder, what is the connection between Sev and Horn that they make superfluous claims about their memory. -- Crush --