The Caveofthe Man Apes

>What does Sev wake in the cave of the Man-Apes? Is it related to the >mentioning of a beast whoose mouth is a cave entrance so that those who >enter are dead in its belly without knowing it? Is it Arioch or Scylla (was >Scylla the one in the cave or the one in the whirlpool)?

We never get an answer to this, and it is *most* annoying. The sound is scary and portentous. He asks Jonas about it when he tells him of the adventure, and Jonas tells him that the monsters are water-bound but that they have "servants." And then later Sev comes out with one of those sententious statements--"I know now what the Claw had awakened" (I paraphrase, being too lazy to look it up)--and that's that, unless I've missed something.

... Spectacled Bear is still re-reading the Book of the New Sun, having been saving 5HC for a time when he's wide enough awake to stand some chance of following it. In the process I noticed some details that bear on questions asked here earlier, including the one that so annoyed Alga: what were the footsteps in the cave of the man-apes? The first step "might have been the walking of a tower on the Final Day..." (Claw, VI). And then two books later, lo and behold, ".. a machine that flashed fire, a machine that was like a tower walking." (Citadel, XXII). Then scarcely a page later, Mamillian's footstep remind Severian of "that I had once waked in the mine of the man-apes." (Citadel, XXIII). It's like a Martian war machine in the War of the Worlds!

"Who (or what) is the intelligence in the depths of the mine at Saltus?" (item number four in list "Mysteries of the Urth Cycle," LEXICON URTHUS, p. 175)

My own guesses (in more or less chronological order)

1. Some obscure chthonic deity from Greco-Roman mythology, more to do with "riches" (i.e., the "Pluto" of "plutocracy") than "the dead." (This is more a category for further search rather than a specific answer of a single individual.)

2. Arioch. (Because he is named in the text but never placed in any location. Problem is that he is supposed to be in league with Erebus and Abaia . . . well, he might have been "converted" along the way . . . and Arioch of mythology doesn't seem to have a "chthonic" association . . . beyond some bat wings, hmmm . . . )

3. Nazca. (If you've seen the map in LEXICON URTHUS you know that some real estate has been added to the Pacific Rim. On our Earth this region is part of the Nazca Plate. The situation on Urth might be more drastic than the LU map suggests--the whole continent the Commonwealth is on might be a raised Nazca.

(The text talks of the "roots of the continent." With such terraforming feats as Verthandi, Skuld, and Lune, not to mention stellaforming stunts like the dying sun and the New Sun, I find continent lifting to be rather simple in comparison. In our non-technical, 20th century terms, I imagined a sort of hydrolic jack at the roots of the continent, lifting it up against "Nature"; this jack and its titanic servator, a throwback to Morningstar of JACK OF SHADOWS, no doubt, are both "Nazca," a sort of Atlas of the Commonwealth's continent.)

(Why raise continents? I dunno. But the text says that all the topsoil runs off into the sea [hmm, maybe that's just "Seven American Nights" I'm thinking of right there], all the metals are at the bottom of the oceans, and so on. So raising a new continent would be like getting a fresh new world to start on, and any continents that sank as a result of raising the new one would become renewed by the dip in the sea, just like Aphrodite.)

4. One of the thinking engines in Cyriaca's story about the founding of the Library of Nessus.

"What creature it was we had called from the roots of the continent I think I now know."

>The central answer, then, is a specific name (what, again?! <g>).

Nothing about a name there. There is the grinding sound, which does suggest that the thing is freeing itself from long imprisonment in the rock, perhaps. Then the footsteps:

"From far below I heard a step that might have been the walking of a tower on the Final Day, when it is said all the cities of Urth will stride forth to meet the dawn of the New Sun."

Now there isn't much about towers walking elsewhere in the book (reasonably enough!) so the occurrence of it in Citadel is the Clue that mantis suggests must exist. It even reads like one:

"Far behind it loomed a machine that flashed fire, a machine that was like a tower walking."

It's hard to see how it could be much more explicit than this. I was really quite surprised to find a reference on the next page but one:

"I opened my mouth to cry for help, then closed it again, thinking I might call upon myself something more terrible than that I had once waked in the mine of the man-apes."

>For all we know, it might be "Abaddon," the angel guarding the pit of >hell (if "Abaddon" <> subspace and "Abaddon" <> planet Mercury!).

a) see above

b) would Severian fear something "more terrible" than the angel

   of hell turning up on the battlefield?

c) *all* large living creatures on Urth have to live in the water.

   So it must be a machine.

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