Citadel of the Autarch, chapters 12 to 15

1
(Apologies for the lateness of this post; my partner's in hospital and I'm all over the place).

Foila tells a story of her own. Severian finds himself recovered. He embarks on a mission for the Pelerines. Before he goes, he slips the Claw into their altar.

On another note, I really like the word lazaret.

Comments

  • 1

    It's more commonly found in the Italian: 'Lazaretto', from Lazarus, the man who Jesus brought back from death

  • 2

    (I hope your partner recovers soon.)

    I liked Foila's story. It seemed a nice jibe towards all her suitors trying to show off for her.

    Severian may think he's disposed of the Claw, but I'm sure he'll be reunited with it again soon.

    We had another reminder of the eugenic class differences, with Mannea, a chateline, being so much taller than Severian.

  • 1
    Indeed, I hope you and your partner get back on an even keel again soon.

    If I was judging I'd give the prize to Foila. No doubt about it in my mind. What will Severian choose?

    The trip to the house reminded me of an ancient world storytelling trope in which someone is given instructions to be followed exactly, but diverges at some crucial point. A good example is the Ugaritic Tale of Keret - the directions are carefully set out and repeated, but Keret branches away at some key stage (and calamity ultimately ensues which needs divine intervention to rectify). You can easily imagine the listening audience shaking their heads and saying to each other "oooohhh, he shouldn't have done that..."
  • 2

    I hope your partner recovers soon as well! Never a good situation!

  • 2

    Yes, sorry to hear about your partner. You mentioned once before she's undergoing scheduled treatments - hopefully that's the case here.

    I didn't make many notes on these chapters, apart from the quip by one character that marriage is a form of slavery for women.

    re: the claw, maybe instead of regaining the claw, we;ll find that Severian still has healing powers without it.

    Foila's story is good - what's the moral of this one?

    Is there any Hero's Journey stuff going on in this book?

  • 2

    "Is there any Hero's Journey stuff going on in this book?"

    That was another book altogether, @Apocryphal! :D

  • 1

    Thanks for the good wishes everyone.

  • 1

    LEXICON

    There was a tower and a wide banqueting hall, and a contrivance of ropes and wheels and buckets by which two merychips, walking in a circle, watered the garden on the roof. p.266

    Merychip: We've had this before, maybe in the first book. Merychippus is an extinct proto-horse.


    Now I came forward and knelt before it. I needed no scholar to tell me the Theologoumenon was no nearer now. Yet he seemed nearer, and I was able - for the final time - to take out the Claw, something I feared I could not do. p.274

    Theologoumenon: Wikipedia and various dictionaries rather unhelpfully say that "A theologoumenon is a theological statement or concept that lacks absolute doctrinal authority.[2][3] It is commonly defined as "a theological assertion or statement not derived from divine revelation",[4] or "a theological statement or concept in the area of individual opinion rather than of authoritative doctrine".[5]

    Both WolfeWiki and Lexocon Urthus are quiet on this word. It seems Wolfe is using it as one of many synonyms for the Pancreator/Increate.


    "I'm not diplomatist," I told her. "But for the other business, I can honestly say I have received long training." p.276

    Diplomatist: In a recent Lexicon entry, we discovered that a 'philosophist' was someone who pretended to philosophy. A 'diplomatist' is not a pretender, however - it's an older synonym for 'diplomat'.


    In what direction that house lay from the lazaret I cannot say. p.277

    Lazaret: The origin covered above by Clash. There are several meanings here - (1) (usually 'lazaretto') an institution for those with contagious diseases. (2) A building or ship used for detention or quarantine. (3) A space in a ship between decks used for storage (also 'lazarette').


    It was written on cream-colored parchment, the finest I had then seen, and bore the narthex sigil of the order stamped in gold. p.277

    Narthex: a vestibule or portico in a church.


    The letter of safe-conduct given to Severian is signed thusly:

    For the Order of the Journeying Monials of the Conciliator, called Pelerines, I am
    The Chatelaine Mannea
    Instructress and Directress
    p.277

    Monial: a woman who is part of a religious order who devotes herself to prayer and contemplation and a life of servitude to God that renounces worldly possessions and sexual relationships.

    A pelerine, we learned in an earlier entry, is a garment.


    I saw no more soldiers, and the rushing water drowned the distant thundering of the Autarch's sacars and culverins - if indeed they could have been heard in that place at all. p.277

    Sacars and culverins are both types of cannons from the 17th C.


    For some reason those words and the picture of the house itself atop its rock recalled me to the house Agia and I had seen in the Jungle Garden, where husband and wife had sat listening to the naked man called Isangoma. p.279

    Isangoma: We looked this up at the time (back in the first book) and discovered that an Isangoma is a Zulu Witch-doctor.

    I wonder why Wolfe is calling our attention back to that scene at this juncture?

  • 1
    > @Apocryphal said:
    > LEXICON
    >
    > (Quote)
    > Merychip: We've had this before, maybe in the first book. Merychippus is an extinct proto-horse.
    >

    So I guess we should be saying meryc-hip rather than (as I have been) mery-chip, hippus being the horse part of the word?
  • 1
    > @Apocryphal said:
    > LEXICON
    >
    > (Quote)
    > Isangoma: We looked this up at the time (back in the first book) and discovered that an Isangoma is a Zulu Witch-doctor.
    >
    > I wonder why Wolfe is calling our attention back to that scene at this juncture?

    Yes, I wondered that too. It surely can't just be the business of having to follow the right path in order to reach the destination? Maybe one of Father Inire's mirrors links the two places?
  • 1

    @RichardAbbott said:
    So I guess we should be saying meryc-hip rather than (as I have been) mery-chip, hippus being the horse part of the word?

    Yes. Here's the etymology: New Latin, from Greek mērykasthai to ruminate + New Latin -hippus (horse)

  • 1

    @RichardAbbott said:

    Yes, I wondered that too. It surely can't just be the business of having to follow the right path in order to reach the destination? Maybe one of Father Inire's mirrors links the two places?

    and does Mannea have another motive for sending Severian there?

Sign In or Register to comment.