From: "Tony Ellis" <email@example.com> Subject: (urth) Yet more playfulness Date: 25 Nov 1997 11:17:29 +0100 [Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works] = 25/11/97 = 09:46 Yet more playfulness Alga wrote: >Note that there will be a >mirror in V, when Odilo, Pega and Thetis take on Meschia, Meschiane and >Jahi. Hmmm. I can see your point that at the end of Urth of the New Sun the dead Odilo, Pega and Thetis have been deified as, loosely speaking, Earth Father, Earth Mother and Jahi figures. But are you saying that that Odilo and Pega have actually assumed the Meschia, Meschiane roles? In the last minutes of the House Absolute we learn that a naked man and woman have been spotted in the gardens: surely these are Meschia and Meschiane? Possibly I'm taking you too literally, in which case - sorry! Mantis wrote: >...If Severian leans too heavily upon the >play when he is going through the real thing, then he is just a >puppet of a pre-determined Fate; if he willfully ignores the play as >he transforms the world, then he is a fool of Free Will. Agreed. This is why I felt (and still feel) that the play ending with Severian battling Baldanders with a flaming torch is highly significant. Although in one sense Severian's success as bringer of the New Sun is pre-determined (hey, it's been on its way for the last x thousand years), in another sense it really is still in doubt. However the play is supposed to end, the fact that it always breaks off here, at a moment of conflict, reflects this uncertainty. >The same thing is going on to a much greater extent in a third text >which is shrouded in such crafty silence that most readers do not >know that it was read in the cell by Thecla and Severian: the >original, "long lost" work (that Dr. Talos has also apparently seen), >(Canog's) THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN. (No, I didn't figure this one >out, dispite the clues--I only learned it in an essay by Wolfe in >PLAN[E]T ENGINEERING.) Now this is interesting! Presumably this is the old theory that one of the unnamed books Severian brings for Thecla is in fact the Book of the New Sun? I've always thought this was daft: why would Thecla ask for a "long lost" book from the library? It's like asking a travel agent for holiday brochures on Atlantis. Haven't read PLAN[E}T ENGINEERING. Are you saying that in so many words Wolfe actually says that this is the case? What are the "clues"? Please elaborate! > I think both are important--and often times, in >Wolfe's fiction, things hinted yet =3Dnot=3D said are very important. Quite right, of course. If I was being over-zealous in championing the Performed Play, it's because of the importance I think the battle it ends upon has, as noted above.