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From: John Bishop <jbishop@alexus.zko.dec.com>
Subject: (urth) Re: Phaedria [Digest urth.v009.n007]
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 08:14:51 

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

In "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", one of the
versions of the narrator is Phaedrus.  If I recall correctly,
Phaedrus is a child of Apollo by a mortal woman, who begged
his father to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun.  
He could not control the horses and eventually was thrown out
over the sea, fell and drowned.

"Zen" is the story of a man who dove into pre-Socratic philosophy,
and went mad (the causitive implication is there in the book).
He got electroshock therapy as a result of which the previous 
personality effectively died and a new personality (the narrator)
was born.  The new personality named the old one Phaedrus.

It's quite likely that Wolfe read "Zen", and pretty much certain
that he knows the Greek myth.  Would not "Phaedria" be the feminine


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

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