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Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 20:12:18 -0700
Subject: (urth) Typhon uber alles and the fleshing of the hero
From: Lisa Schaffer-Doggett 

Hi everyone,

Andrew's post whipped me back to something that has been on my mind for 
a while:  Typhon's nature.  It is pretty well established I think that 
he is not a product of natural childbirth.  He is, to get straight to 
the point, the Nazi dreamboy, the ubermensch.  Blond (blue eyed?) 
genetically perfect, brilliant, and desirous of bringing Urth back to 
the good old days of empire.  Ruling from South America no less.  
Typhon is a fascist, the ultimate fascist.  I think his story is told 
in The Tale of the Student and His Son.   A hero, created from "dreams" 
to defeat Abaia (the Naviscaput).  He defeats this monster by allying 
with its daughter (Scylla?) and returns home most likely to rule (like 
Theseus who by the way is one of Graves' seasonal sacred kings).  This 
reading of the text satisfies me in two ways.  It gives me ground for 
the nagging instinctive feeling I've always had that Abaia does not 
exist (either through extinction or through the fact that he is really 
Scylla) and it also fleshes out Typhon as a creation for a good purpose 
gone bad.  It explains Cilinia's connection to Scylla, and (for me at 
least) it helps explain Severian's connection to the sea creatures (for 
those who don't know, I think  Sev is Typhon's genetic son).

But even if no one buys my readings of the Wonders of Urth and Sky, it 
is still hard to avoid Typhon's parallels to the fascist ideal, and 
this goes a long way toward explaining why the Whorl is so out of sync 
with Urth culture.  No mutant animals, no Aliens (he'd be furious about 
the inhumi I think), the Chems (don't they have a symbolic tie to 
Judaism?) are little more than slaves and aren't supposed to leave the 
Whorl when colonization begins.  A throwback to a better time with him 
(as Silk, I think, but Pas would work, I suppose) ruling over it all.

Comments are welcome,



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