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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Urth syllabus
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 13:53:21 

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

On Wed, 22 Apr 1998, Dan Parmenter wrote:

> Maybe I tried to read DYING EARTH at the wrong time in my life, but it
> never totally grabbed me, though I can easily see its impact on Wolfe.

As an aside, I've just recently given Vance a try.  I adored THE DYING
EARTH, liked but was lukewarm about EYES OF THE OVERWORLD, and was bored
by the short-story collection THE AUGMENTED AGENT.  Given those reactions,
can anyone recommend some other Vance I might enjoy as much as THE DYING
EARTH? (maybe just e-mail me rather than the whole list)

> though Wolfe did echo the notion of how the memory of a memory can be
> different from the memory itself, which also seems to reosnate a bit
> with C.S. Lewis who talks at some length about how he learned to
> experience joy in the abstract by remembering how he had felt
> recalling a happy memory.
> Which brings up C.S. Lewis as a possible syllabus item.  

Another theme from Lewis that appears in the LONG SUN books and the
SOLDIER books and I think in the URTH books too, comes from Perelandra
where Ransom asks where the miracle from God is to counter the infernal
"miracle" of Satan's agent in Perelandra.  Ransom realizes that he is,
himself, the miracle, the help God has provided.

This sounds almost exactly like Silk's statement of his comission from the
Outsider--"I am to expect no help because I *am* help."  Latro receives a
similar response when he remarks on the possible danger of the task given
him by one of the godesses: "If a child could have done it, I would not
have chosen you."

Although not expressed quite so explicitly, I think the way in which
Severian is tested bears some resemblance to this theme, but I'm not sure
I can defend that assertion before I do some long-overdue re-reading.


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

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