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From: "Alex David Groce" <adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v019.n023
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 12:49:55 

Yes, I'm typing--I could probably get my hands on a scanner but the lengths the
Sev. articles were, it wasn't worth the hassle.  I've sent those in already...
I'm really surprised Simon Magus hasn't been done already--before I sign on for
that one I'd better check how long it is--my next week at school will be
largely occupied with grading homeworks, editing a group project, and writing a
paper on T. S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday--but I'm guessing Simon Magus can't be too

On Oct 16,  7:20pm, Alice Turner wrote:
> Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v019.n023
> Alex,
> If you have the time and patience (I gather you're typing, not scanning),
> would you please, please put in Simon Magus (he corresponds to Ceryx in our
> books) as well as Severian and Severus. I would be so grateful. And don't
> forget to let the CE know right away, even before you send the articles in,
> so they can take them off the "to do" list. Thanks!
> from alga:
> >>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.
> answered by Sarge:
> >"Privatio boni" won't do for Gothic novels? _Necessarily_ dualistic?
> >Umm...well you are a micro-organism of definite opinions, so I'll just
> >gently suggest that I'm not convinced.
> >
> >When you say that the play is "Manichaean", I take it that you mean it
> >implies a dualistic cosmology or theology. I suppose that it does; but then
> >it implies lots of things. Indeed, the play struck me as a somewhat tacky,
> >improvised kitchen-sink composite of just about every apocalyptic-second
> >creation myth that I'd ever heard. (I'm surprised the Aesir don't put in an
> >appearance.) I suppose this is in keeping with a play-within-a-novel that
> is
> >a "grand sword 'n sorcery revision of the New Testament". I really like
> that
> >assessment, by the way.
> and Alex:
> >Necessarily seems a bit much to me, as well.  Maybe necessarily somewhat
> >suggestive of dualism...  Come to think of it, Lovecraft isn't
> >dualistic--there's only a dark side...
> replies:
> First, thank you, Sarge, I like that phrase myself, come to think.
> Manichaeism: But Sarge, that's just exactly what Mani cobbled together, a
> ragbag of a religion, borrowing from everything he knew of Buddhism,
> Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Marcionism (Marcion taught that there were
> two gods: capricious old Yaweh of the OT was similar to the Gnostic
> Demiurge, while Jesus was son of the True God whose time would come). If
> he'd known about Thor, he'd have thrown him in too. Mani would have been a
> great scriptwriter for "Xena: Warrior Princess." And so would Dr. Talos, if
> he got a decent editor.
> Mani's dualism came from the Zoroastrians (who supplied Meschia and Mechiane
> to Dr. Talos) and he added the concept of Light vs. Darkness, so beloved of
> gothic writers. Alex, you can't say that there is only Dark in Lovecraft,
> for opposed to that is the normal world, represented, in Hollywood versions,
> by pretty suburban streets. If you don't have a norm--Innsmouth or Arkham
> before the horrors came--where's the scare? The Amurican Way of Life, that's
> the Light. At least in novels.
> I will back-pedal a bit on "necessarily," but only a bit. Since the end of
> the 19th century, the Dark is not necessarily a Christian dark, in fact most
> often it isn't. Despite the crucifix hocus-pocus, we do not think of
> vampires as demons of Satan; they inhabit their own Dark. Werewolves are
> folkloric, not Christian. Hyde, though a demon, is a metaphor for what Freud
> would call the id, not a damned soul. Dorian Grey hides Hyde's face behind
> his own (sorry about that sentence), but again it's extra-Christian.
> Nevertheless, if only for convenience of term, I would argue that the gothic
> tradition is Manichaean--with all the implicit messiness. Writers like C.S.
> Lewis and Tolkien, who tidy up the mess, have made this even clearer, but
> they are far ounumbered by the others. King now, a dualist to the Dark
> Untidy Core.
> I don't want to get too off-topic here, so let me segue back. Once again, I
> *don't* think Briah and Yesod form a dualist universe. Yes, I do think, as
> Sev appears to do, that it is all One Big Thing. I do keep wondering about
> how Abaia and Baldanders are faring under the New Sun, fine, I think--uh-oh!
> If it ain't One Thing, it's Another.
> But nevertheless, Dr. Talos and his play do represent apocalyptic dualism,
> Armagedon, Ragnarok, whatever. And it may be a mess, Sarge, but it belongs
> too.
> -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/

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