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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) A Solar Labyrinth
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 21:59:59 

	Nutria here. My take on "A Solar Labyrinth" is, as you can guess, that it
is about religion. Mark virtually makes the point for me. 
	A "smith" is a maker; He is God.
	Mazes precede human existence -- first sentence of the story. I suspect
Wolfe might suggest that the Trinity Himself is the ur-labyrinth.
	All kinds of religious symbols mark the labyrinth:
lampposts - shed light, truth.
pillar-box - a mailbox, for the Word, for prayer, communication.
fountains - for baptism, the Spirit.
yawl - ship - the church.
dead tree with roses - the rose-decorated cross.
	The shadows cast by these objects - what they reveal as symbols - create
the maze through which human beings are to travel: human biographies. The
shadows are the ink of God.
	The Sun constantly changes the labyrinth: People have to be in touch with
God in order to walk the maze and not get trapped. But they have to be
constantly and fully in touch with God, and only one "child" has ever been.
	You can walk out at any time -- if you don't want salvation. Free will.
	Most people don't leave, because most people are, one way or another,
	Mr. Smith brings the favored guest -- calling and election by God, the
point at which God alerts a person to the need for salvation.
	Sometimes Smith walks with his guest, sometimes he leaves the guest to
explore. Sometime God is near us, sometimes He seems to leave us alone.
	Smith explains that He set up the pre-Christian gods, such as Diana. All
is under His control, including the feathered SERPENT Quetzalcoatl.
	NOBODY makes it through the maze, except for one solitary child, Jesus.
Sinful man tries, but fails. Only this Child can draw Arthur's sword from
the stone.
	As Mark points out, when history reaches its pre-determined end, the
antichrist Minotaur will be revealed and will have his brief hour. That is
the sinister element, I take it.

	I might add that Wolfe really likes this story, and there is an audiotape
of him reading it. When asked about the stories he likes, Wolfe usually
mentions his religious allegories. 

Jim Jordan

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

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