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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v002.n020
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 1997 10:46:28 

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


I'm inclined not to blame the starship crew at all, or to look for a flaw
or sin. After all, if you go along with the old dicta, you'll note that
wickedness preys on innocence. Faust preys on Gretchen, the coven on
Rosemary, Satan not on a wicked witch but on a virgin to bear the
Antichrist. Expedience is all, and part of the thrill for the audience is
what cynical TV producers call WomJep, the hoary formula of placing a woman
in mortal jeopardy.

Although you could say that they have committed the PC crime of kidnapping
a creature from its natural habitat, and therefore deserve what's coming.

> The unpleasantness in Wolfe's worlds comes from the Fallen state
> of the world's inhabitants, not an outside metaphysical force.
> Typhon is not the anti-Outsider. Even Erebus and Abia don't
> strike me as being stand-ins for Satan (although I could be
> wrong. I read them as just having very different goals from
> humanity... being adversaries, not The Adversary).

That's interestingly put, and I think you're right. But you're talking
about long and thoughtful works, whereas "Hues" is...well, I think "pulp"
covers it. Let's see what he does with the inhumi. Already, we have found
one of them to have an extremely complex character, but he may not be at
all representative.

>  A word of the Antichrist/anti-Messiah distinction: Hasn't the
> Catholic church declared people to be antichrists over the years?
> Really out-of-line popes, and people like that? I think the term
> pretty much applies to anyone whose goals are the opposite of
> Christ's. Thanks to the whole sub-genre of horror movies that
> followed Rosemary, I think it's well-established to think of a
> demonically possessed unborn baby as the/a antichrist.

I think you're probably thinking of the Reformation's tack that all
popes---the papacy itself---represented the antichrist. Printing was well
established by that time (the internet of its day!) and hundreds of
monographs, cartoons and drawings----scurrilous, obscene and frequently
coarsely funny---to that effect were circulated all over Protestant-leaning
Europe. Islam was not attacked the same way; the antichrist is always
understood to arise within Christianity. The horror movies, no matter how
debased, follow the tradition.

> My favorite line from this story is Kyle's response to Skips
> question "Do you have a soul?":
> "...I've seen a printout, though of course I didn't read it all;
> it was very long."

That wonderful exchange almost makes the story worthwhile!


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