Concerning Sethra (again)

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Sat Mar 8 23:46:22 PST 2003

On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, Philip Hart wrote:

>On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, David Silberstein wrote:
>> On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, Philip Hart wrote:
>> >On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, David Silberstein wrote:
>> >
>> >> Sethra Lavode has been undead only for a few thousand years or so
>> >
>> >Carp: I don't believe this is anything like established by the canon -
>> >maybe Paarfi thinks this, but I maintain that the quality of evidence
>> >needed to reach such a conclusion is missing.
>> I am curious why you think this.  Why do you pretend that Paarfi's
>> research, spelled out in FHYA, is wrong?
>Up in the thread-snarl I made a few relevant posts on Sethran
>exceptionalism and Paarfian unreliability.  Basically I asserted that
>we hardly know anything about her ability to defeat tests for
>aliveness ("It's difficult" "- but you're Sethra Lavode" in _Orca_)
>and we have less reason to take Paarfi's word as gospel.  I'm not
>saying it's wrong, just that we don't have independent reason to
>consider it much more than gossip. 

Hmm.  Paarfi can be unreliable, but I would not put as much weight on
Sethra's exceptionality as you would seem to be advocating.  Sethra
isn't perfect, by any means.  And whatever means she uses to mask her
undeadness isn't perfect either (Buddy, a rather ordinary dog, seems
to have seen, or rather, smelled, through it).

As another notion, I wonder if perhaps the Kiera persona was created
(as well as the other reasons she gave) to test her ability to be an
undetectable undead?

As an aside to Alexx Kay, I note a possible minor error in your
timeline regarding Sethra: 

Your timeline states:

]    The Lavodes are disbanded "before the Interregnum" (Is 199).
]    [This may be an otherwise unreferenced event, or it may refer
]    to the period (late in Tortaalik's reign) when Sethra was
]    officially removed from command.]

Don't you mean "midway through Empress Cherova III's reign" (which
appears to be confirmed by a careful reading of the later entries in
the timeline)?