FIND in
<--prev V307 next-->
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 12:36:37 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) Malrubius' ghost

Civet wrote:
>In addition, it was always disconcerting to
>me that the explanation of Malrubius as the ghost was that he was chosen out
>of Severian's memory as a figure of wisdom and possibly a
>pseudo-father-figure, whereas the "real" Malrubius in earlier segments is
>never described with quite enough affection to really justify his having
>this kind of importance to Sev. (My god, what an awful sentence). Master
>Palaemon seems a more sympathetic character, and accounts of Malrubius
>suffer a bit by comparison. So, this always struck a false chord with me but
>at the time I was reading BotNS I was unable to resolve it. These alternate
>explanations appeal to me because they explain what I perceive as an awkward
>point of the text.

Now hang on, there: the unalterable reason why Malrubius was chosen over
Palaemon is the fact that Malrubius is already dead, in the timeframe, and
a logical candidate for a ghost is needed.  Palaemon is not even a

The ghost is to Severian as a fairy godfather is to a hero.

Not to defend the old "Malrubius is the basis of the ghost" line, but
still, there was a certain poignancy in the notion that a person who wasn't
so influential when alive would be a source of wisdom after his death.
That magical thinking wish that unknown ancestors would give us hints about
the silly world around us: the more prosaic understanding about how the
dead communicate to us through their words and actions in the past, whether
we lived through that timeframe and did not perceive their wisdom at the
time, or whether we were born long afterward.

Another thing is this: the closer in one gets toward Severian's core, the
more silent he becomes.  We know next to nothing about Valeria, yet he says
he has written too much!  So in this light it would make perfect sense that
Malrubius was important enough to have little written about him.



<--prev V307 next-->