FIND in
<--prev V16 next-->

From: Matthew Malthouse <matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth)  Re:  Torturers as priests
Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 20:04:54 +0100

mary whalen wrote:
> This is Sean Whalen (prion).
> Matt, I just added this as part of some of my previous posts of the
> theory that the torturers are the Urth form of Catholic priests.
> If they can change from being priests to being torturers, it seems
> that along the way they could have evolved to include women in some
> incarnation(s) of their function, and we don't even know if the women
> had differing roles in the past.  I meant also that the fact that they
> originally had no women (as priests), gained them (as jailers), and
> then lost them again (after becoming torturers) is part of the
> cyclic/repetitive structure Wolfe likes to use.

That's fine. But while one is searching for evidence to support a theory
filling the lacunae with "it's a long time, anything could have happend" seems
a little less than rigourous.

> I also think this theory is part of the fact that Wolfe purposely
> writes the plot and setting of New Sun to be an amalgam of every SF
> cliche and standard there is.  A well-known current organization that
> changes form in the far future to an ironic form is one of these.
> Lastly, I just read on the Whorl archive list that when Gene Wolfe was
> asked the question of "Is there a past, current, or future member of
> the Order of Seekers of Truth and Penitence on the Whorl?", he says
> "Yes, Silk.
> "  I take it to mean that Silk is a member of this order because he's
> a priest/worshipper of the Outsider (God), and this seems to indicate
> that the torturers are, too.

But note that the gender roles in the Whorl are diferentiated in a manner
reminicent of the church today. That doesn't appear to be the case with the
torturers of Ymar's time.

Is the equation of Silk with a torturer one of formal function or role performed?


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

<--prev V16 next-->