FIND in
<--prev V8 next-->

From: tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk (Tony Ellis)
Subject: (urth) Severian & Christ, Wolfe &
Date: 12 Mar 1998 16:10:03 +0100

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

 Severian & Christ, Wolfe & Yeats

Peter Stephenson wrote:
>Even if this isn't what happens in this particular episode, it's
>certainly striking how quickly Severian `falls off' in any episode
>where he is somehow fleetingly put up against Christ...  In the first
>example I hazarded, which looked a bit like Christ before Pilate, the
>chapter ends with Severian demonstrating his torturing skills on one
>of the soldiers (at the lochage's suggestion, it should be said). 

There -are- parallels between this scene and Christ before Pilate, 
but I feel it's too lightweight for the significance you're giving it.
When Christ appeared before Pilate he was in deep shit: he had
been denounced by the religious authorities, flogged, and was 
now effectively on trial for his life. Pilate asks him "what is Truth?".
Theologically speaking, it's a pretty pivotal scene. Severian, on
the other hand, has merely been called in for a little chat 
because the Lochage is concerned that his dramatic 
appearance may cause public alarm.

> ...In the last, he ends up by killing Typhon/Piaton

I think if you want to look for examples of Severian being "put
up against Christ" you're on firmer ground with Severian before
Typhon, certainly. And how about the scenes in UOTNS where
he is beaten and denounced for performing miracles? I think he
compares quite favorably to the big J.C. on all these

Re: Connections between Wolfe and Yeats
>Anyway, that's what's occurred to me. i) Clutching at straws;
>ii) Interesting parallels; iii) something more?

Interesting parallels, certainly ...Although cyclical time,
antithetical "masks" etc are such big, abstract themes that
it's inevitable that they pop up again and again in 
different forms.

Yeat's world-view (as represented by his gyres and masks) was
very dualistic, and I would say that there we have a crucial 
difference between him and Wolfe. Wolfe's Urth universe
is ultimately Unary: there is really only one side, and everyone
is on it - they just don't all realise it. <g>

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

<--prev V8 next-->