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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: (urth) minutiae and Robert&Marie
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 09:47:32 -0500

Josh Geller says:
I put the whole [Delany/Baldanders theory] forward as much as a wry comment
on the wrangling over minutiae which, in my opinion, badly infests this list
at the possible expense of serious discussion as for any other reason.

Crush says:
What but minutiae would one expect from a list devoted to the works of a
single, relatively [unjustly] obscure writer? Secondly, since I'd rather
avoid personally directed comments right now, I'll only say that people with
glass posts should not throw stones.

Finally, although I intended to offer this theory only after I had read
their son's biography of their lives, I'd like to move the subject away from
religion, politics, and the Culture War and back to minutiae. That is, I am
pretty sure now who were Robert and Marie whom Severian met in the Garden.
They are Robert and Mary Moffat. A review of the archives reveals that Alga
suggested this years ago in a burst of free-associative imagination that
would be a credit even to me.

Robert and Marie were the parents-in-law of David Livingston. Robert was a
gardener before he became a missionary to South Africa. A Scotsman, his
pronunciation of "Mary" was probably indiscrimate from "Marie". He went to
Africa with the declared desire to plant a Garden for God there. During a
serious drought, the local chieftan hired a "rain-maker", who after repeated
unsuccess, declared that the white missionaries were driving the rain away.
The rain-maker rallied the local people in a mob against them. How it turned
out was that Robert faced the mob, declared his reason for being there, and
the mob broke up.

Since Moffat died in the 1880s, I would say the plane Severian sees is from
another time -- that he is moving further and further back in time as he
walks through the Garden.

As I say, I expect to draw this connection better after reading their
biography (and getting my copy of tSotT back).

-- Crush


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