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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) A note from the Antichrist
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 19:33:10 

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

A quote from Peter Cash, aka le lapin riche:

> people seem to be
> too quick to find Christian associations for symbols in Wolfe's work,
> just because they know he's Catholic. 

Words that ought to be tattooed across the flea-bitten back of a certain

And what Peter has to say about paganism, if hasty, makes sense. To portray
Wolfe as inveighing against idolatry is to portray him as a maker of
tracts, not novels. And it should be evident that his knowledge of and love
of the (idolatrous) Classical world is not superficial; I think he would
object to a rat's calling it simplistic and destructive. But:

> Slimey Alga wrote:
> >Ratty,
> >
> >I define a Christian as someone who believes that he or she will attain
> >eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. Severian has never heard of
> >Christ, and he himself has brought salvation (through destruction) to
> 	Whoa! Agia refers to the Theoanthropos in 1:21. Also, in that chapter
> woman missionary (Marie - Mary) is reading from the Urth equivalent of
> Deuteronomy 34. (1:21 = Shadow, ch. 21).

Agia's casual reference to the Theoanthropos (the only such reference in
the quintet) is equivalent to one of us saying "Jumping Jehosaphat!"
Bzzzzt! And yes, indeed, Marie is reading from Deut. 34, but Marie is an
exhibit, and Severian examines her as we would examine a tableau vivant at
the Museum of Natural History. There isn't the slightest indication
anywhere that one ancient religion of the early 20th century means more to
him than that of Apu-Punchau.

There's a great deal more to your post (thanks, by the way, for moving it
over here), but it's based on *such* flimsy evidence. I have to admire your
dedication to your calling, but it certainly gets loopy at times. (One of
the oddest things in your interview with Wolfe was the two of you deploring
the non-Christian use of kittens as baseballs. If you had been Buddhists or
Jainists, you might correctly have congratulated yourself on your religious
abhorrence of such behavior. But Christianity takes no such tack; even your
own reformed branch had a mighty poor record when it came to destitute old
women of the 16th through the 19th centuries.)  

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