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Subject: Re: (urth) Typhon uber alles and the fleshing of the hero
From: Josh Geller 
Date: 15 Aug 2003 21:53:21 -0700

Wonderful, thoughtful post.



On Fri, 2003-08-15 at 20:12, Lisa Schaffer-Doggett wrote:
> 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,
> Don
> -- 


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