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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


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