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2011 Reads > S&C: The Revolutionary (spoilers, claw, ch. 9-11)

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message 1: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 964 comments Mod
I love the accidentally grand intrance Severian makes into Vodalus' stronghold, which saves him from being killed immediately.

What did you think of Vodalus and the scenes in his camp?

I think it's interesting that when Severian finally gets to speak to the man he's sworn allegiance to we find out:

-- Vodalus' revolution is not necessarily concerned with social justice, but instead aims to restore purpose and glory to society by reclaiming scientific knowledge and all the powers it could bestow. Instead of wanting to overturn the social order, he seems to want to be Autarch himself -- an Autarch who would "set Man's foot on the road to domination again."

Given this, it surprised me that he reacted with such superstitious fear towards the Claw, which seems to be a very high-tech relic indeed. But this fear has to do with...

-- Vodalus' masters - "our allies and masters who wait in the countries beneath the sea" -- these must be Erebus and Abaia (and perhaps others), the sea monsters that've been mentioned several times before. Severian is convinced that the visions of the giant aquatic women that he's had several times have been sent to him by Erebus and Abaia, trying to enlist them in their cause (Jonas earlier told him, "by their thoughts they enlist servants, and they fling them against all rules that rival their own." Vodalus says these masters would consider him traitor if he used the Claw.

-- Vodalus and his followers are the corpse-eaters that Master Ultan the librarian told Severian about early in Shadow, and through Vodalus' required ritual, Severian now shares Thecla's memories (this will have many interesting implications...)

It's also interesting that Severian accepted the mission to go to House Absolute, but internally decided he would not complete the mission (his loyalty to Vodalus is now broken...)

What do you make of Vodalus' and his masters' fear of the Claw?


message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 171 comments Jlawrence wrote: "Given this, it surprised me that he reacted with such superstitious fear towards the Claw, which seems to be a very high-tech relic indeed."

Interesting. I have a very different reading of the Claw, but I don't think I can get into it without spoiling everything.


message 3: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (last edited Mar 02, 2011 09:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 964 comments Mod
Well, I'm speaking from where I am currently in my re-read, my take may change. ;)

But in any case, Vodalus *says* it's not supernatural ("the rabble believe it to be sacred") but "there was a twinge of fear in his voice."


Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Jlawrence wrote: "Well, I'm speaking from where I am currently in my re-read, my take may change. ;)

But in any case, Vodalus *says* it's not supernatural ("the rabble believe it to be sacred") but "there was a twi..."


I took that as more him (Vodalus) trying to convince himself that it was not.


Colin | 278 comments That forest scene was pretty disturbing. I guess in the future, all the cool kids are doing Long Pig. Drugs are so eons ago.
I would have politely declined and then disarmed some ghouls, hopefully recover my sword and then take them to the butcher's block, before being incinerated by lasers. Jonas would have had my back, done some next-level cyborg kung fu action.

The difficulties Sev faces after having eaten his dear Thecla are quite interesting. I think being brought up in a professional torture/murder cult and orphaned at an early age aside, the cannibalism is probably what snapped him. You really can't trust anything he has said from the beginning onwards, when he has difficulty differentiating between his memories and Thecla's.


message 6: by Ed (last edited Mar 03, 2011 09:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 171 comments Colin wrote: "That forest scene was pretty disturbing. I guess in the future, all the cool kids are doing Long Pig. Drugs are so eons ago.
I would have politely declined and then disarmed some ghouls, hopefully recover my sword and then take them to the butcher's block, before being incinerated by lasers. Jonas would have had my back, done some next-level cyborg kung fu action."


LOL! I like your style, Colin.


message 7: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 171 comments I think you're on the right track. It's more than just her memories though, isn't it? Her whole personality is part of him now. That has to have ramifications.


message 8: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 964 comments Mod
Yeah, that's a very interesting extra layer to Severian's whole problematic memory / narration that I hadn't even thought about until this re-read!


message 9: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 964 comments Mod
Ed wrote: "Colin wrote: "hat forest scene was pretty disturbing. I guess in the future, all the cool kids are doing Long Pig. Drugs are so eons ago.
I would have politely declined and then disarmed some ghouls, hopefully recover my sword and then take them to the butcher's block, before being incinerated by lasers. Jonas would have had my back, done some next-level cyborg kung fu action..."

LOL! I like your style, Colin.


Yes, this totally made me laugh too. :)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments Couldn't Jonas, since he said later that he knew what was coming and knew how to pretend to eat, helped his "friend" out and solved the problem of having to eat human flesh? Ugh, ugh, ugh.


message 11: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 964 comments Mod
Hm, yes, Joneas sort of failed his friend there. Or maybe he assumed Severian was in full consent...


Colin | 278 comments I loved that part. Sev just chows down, while Jonas politely smiles at the proffered Long Pig and discretely spits it into his napkin.

[paraphrase]
"Well you ate it too!" - sev.
"Actually...no. I know how to act like i'm eating things without actually eating it. Don't you?" [/paraphrase]


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments It could be that Jonas didn't understand the emotional turmoil that might come with it?


message 14: by Al (new)

Al | 159 comments Adrienne wrote: "Wow, apparently I've temporarily become more immune to thinking about necro-cannibalism (as I've fondly been calling this).
"


Well, here you go then. A good buddy of mine is one of the worlds foremost authorities on funerial cannibalism:

Consuming Grief: Compassionate Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society


message 15: by Jared (new)

Jared (jared_king) | 51 comments It's not like one of them can go somewhere else to cool off.
but you could say "go **** yourself"!

sorry.


message 16: by Jared (new)

Jared (jared_king) | 51 comments Hey how about a parallel between reading a book and consuming someone's thoughts thereby becoming more like that person and dammit if that doesn't agree with some of what Lepton wrote.


message 17: by Tina (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tina (javabird) | 717 comments Al wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "Wow, apparently I've temporarily become more immune to thinking about necro-cannibalism (as I've fondly been calling this).
"

Well, here you go then. A good buddy of mine is o..."



Al, that is fascinating. Thanks for the link.


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