FIND in
<--prev V2 next-->

From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Grist!
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 97 16:51:00 GMT

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Reply:  Item #5927412 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET03#


Wow, that =is= a lot of grist there!

Re: Witches' Keep as perverse convent of nuns.  Possible, of course,
but since they are called witches right up front I tend more to think
of the witches of Endor being formally incorporated into the physical
and political structure of Solomon's temple/kingdom complex.  ("I'm
getting tired of going all the way over to Endor when I have a tough
question--let's just rewrite the laws and invite them in.")

(I am =still= delighted that witches and torturers are paired at the
Old Citadel.  This is such a fine paradox.  Sure, on the surface it
might seem as easy as anything on Gor.  But both groups were hated in
earlier times; witches were outside the law and torturers were inside
the law; yet witches (ancient and modern) have risen to "victims"
(i.e., secular saints <g>) innocent or pagan, while torturers (ancient)
have sunken deeper into villainy; torturers worked on alleged witches
. . . it is like that line from "Ghostbusters" talking about disaster
of Biblical proportions, ending with "Cats and dogs, living together!")

Re: Bear Tower as perverse Franciscians.  Hey, I =like= that!  We
don't know who the beast handlers' patron saint is, fwiw.

Re: St. Catherine playing an important role in any of the monastic
orders of Earth.  Good question.  I don't know the answer.  Her
relics were translated to Mount Sinai by some monks who were later
erroneously referred to as "angels"; so there's a first group right
off the bat.

(Don't forget the pelerine connection.  Catherine, mother of
Severian, was a pelerine who fell . . . uh oh, I'm suddenly beset by
layered visions--I'll ignore the Gnostic Sophia to focus on the
pelerines as possibly being, in addition to everything else, a social
device for exultants to vent off khaibits no longer needed.  That is
to say, we wonder what happens to khaibits when their originals
die--"get thee to a nunnery" sounds good.  Whoops, unless they've been
pillow girls for the Autarch . . . yeah, well, and how many of those
girls are actually pillowed, anyway, especially in the reign
immediately before Severian's?  In addition, all exultants need khaibits,
but not all exultants are bound to send hostages to House Absolute, so
there's plenty of loose khaibits around.  Which brings us 'round to
those cloneish soldiers at the front--the solution for all those
released-from-estate male khaibits, perhaps?)

I really like that Fish stuff, predictably.  Makes little sparks in
my brain.  Just to give you a hard time <g>, I'll quibble weakly that
Inire's Fish is being drawn not from Nothing (Ain Soph, et al.) but
from Yesod ("hyperspace" for the fundamentalist sfans).  This is a very
weak one, easily parried.  You should take that little fish appetizer
and work it up into a main course essay!

Re: "Gene Wolfe at the Lake of Birds" (aka "essay on the Garden of
Endless Sleeep").  I'm pleased that you enjoyed it!  To answer your
question, yes, I do think that there is a strong bit of Eden there,
but when you make the logical extension that the avern is the Tree of
Eden, I'm both surprised (that I didn't think of that before) and a
bit resistant (perhaps due to being surprised?): it is hard for me to
see the "Good" or even "Neutral" in the avern--it is a deadly, deadly
thing.  In this light I would tend to think of it more as the "Tree of
Life and Death" or "Tree of (Knowledge of) Death," or by following
this reasoning a little further, the Cross upon which Jesus was raised.

True, in credit to your theory, after they "know" the plant they
leave the garden (visions of curator Michael muttering as he locks
the gate behind them); but then I get some points a few chapters
later as avern provides Severian with his first public
self-resurrection opportunity.

We're =both= right--Yay!

But we're neither of us "Wright"--and I'll agree with you, he is on
to something.

So while three of us are right, one is still undeniably Wright and
the others are not.

(Dreaming of the day when we will have a Wolfe scholar named Wong . .
. )


<--prev V2 next-->