FIND in
<--prev V20 next-->

From: "Alex David Groce" <adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Sev, heresy and a bit of Agia
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 22:06:03 

This is mostly elaborate agreement of a sort...

On Oct 15,  9:03pm, Alice Turner wrote:
> Subject: (urth) Sev, heresy and a bit of Agia
> From AD Groce responding to alga:
> >I think it is suggestive, although I'm not sure it's as cynical as might
> >appear.
> Well, I did say "playfully cynical;" what if we change it to wry?

I think wry is definitely the word with Wolfe.

> >As to Wolfe's 'not the sort you think' comment, he also said something
> >similar in an old interview with Larry McCaffrey (don't have it with me...)
> >although there (and here) it looked like the implication was more that most
> >people have no idea what being a Roman Catholic means (including most
> >Catholics).  I'm pretty sure Wolfe wouldn't consider himself a heretic (not
> >that most heretics would...) and would, I suspect, fall into church line on
> >defined doctrinal points (which leaves a lot of room for oddness--after
> all, I
> >doubt the Church has made a proclamation one way or the other about the
> idea
> >the Greek gods were real beings of some kind, for which Wolfe has expressed
> >sympathy in the past).  He's orthodox enough to be a huge Chesterton fan,
> >anyway...
> But I didn't say that Wolfe was/is a heretic. I said that in his grand sword
> 'n sorcery revision of the New Testament (including Revelation) he made sure
> that the name of his hero, as opposed to the names of everyone else in the
> cast, is that of a heretic. (I use revision in the Harold Bloomian sense,
> which I consider spot on in this particular case, and I hope I won't have to
> explain that to anyone, though I dourly suppose that I will.) I *love* the
> fact (new for me) that it's a heretic name.

Ah.  Didn't think you were saying Wolfe was a heretic--I was just spinning off
the remembered "not what you think it means" comment.  Which I think Wolfe is
actually using to suggest (I think he's said this, too) that most people who
call themselves Christians probably don't know enough about Christianity to
know if they're heretics or orthodox or not Christians or what-not, even in the
vaguest sense.  I think I was just leaping to clarify Wolfe's statement, which
at first sounds rather hazy and (in the worst sense) mystical, when actually
he's (I think) being insulting, which I prefer.

> >And I would say that despite some terminological and mythological
> >borrowings, the BOTNS is philosophically quite anti-Manichean.  The
> Pancreator
> >is fairly clearly fills both the 'God' and 'Creator' slots, and rather than
> >despising the physical as inferior or absolutely corrupt, good old earthy
> >Severian ends up taking off his boots because it's ALL Holy Ground.  :)
> But yes, with reservations about Erebus, Abaia & co., who are echoing the
> more dualist parts of Revelation.  I said that Dr. Talos's play is
> Manichaean. Which it certainly is--the gothic tradition to which Baldanders,
> Talos and all horror novelists belong is necessarily dualistic.

Agreed.  Although, I can't place it now, but doesn't Sev. somewhere ponder
whether in the end everyone is on the same side, even Abaia and Erebus, etc.?
Something rather along the lines of Wolfe's statement in the Jordan interview:
"I think that Satan does what God wishes him to do; it is just that he doesn't
want to.  And I think the torturer is in the same position. He is frequently
doing what God wants him to do but he is not trying to please God by doing it."
I can't find the reference though--someone who's re-read the whole thing more
recently want to try?  Come to think of it, doesn't Silk say something like it.
As to Talos' play, it's very Manichaean at heart--and Wolfe borrows a lot of
things from various Gnostics here and there (since he borrows from just about
anyone who's ever come up with an interesting mythology...)

> FWIW, my personal portrait of Agia and her agenda is the identical twin of
> mantis's, though perhaps mine wouldn't have been phrased so elegantly.
> Though the last time I was agreeable enough to agree with someone, I got
> flamed for it. Grrrrrrr.
> -alga
> *More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/
>-- End of excerpt from Alice Turner

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." - John 8:32
Alex David Groce (adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu)
Senior (Computer Science/Multidisciplinary Studies in Technology & Fiction)
'98-99 NCSU AITP Student Chapter President
608 Charleston Road, Apt. 1E (919)-233-7366

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

<--prev V20 next-->