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From: Derek Bell <dbell@maths.tcd.ie>
Subject: Re: (urth) Thus Spoke Severian? (Nietzsche links)
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 20:33:27 +0000

In message <199812031539.HAA29562@lists1.best.com>, Jon Camfield writes:
>Now, not to overanalyze, (but I wish I knew if Wolfe had read

	Certainly he's aware of Nietzsche; _To the Dark Tower Came_
had Kent punning on the word "Superman" without even mentioning the
word itself. (One of the phrases used is a thumbnail portrait of
Nietzsche's Superman.)

	On the other hand, Nietzsche's eternal reccurence of
the same could be seen as incompatible with the eschatological themes
of TBoTNS - it's certainly a new Sun and a new Earth. (A biblical
reference, if I'm not mistaken; Nietzsche also referred to the Bible
though as well as Plato - who he disliked.)

	Just to be contra-contradictory :-), there is also the
oft-quoted passage "I tell you: one must have chaos in one, to give
birth to a dancing star." Well, Severian doesn't create or *give
birth* to the New Sun, but he is full of chaos - all those autarchial
personas inside!

>Has anyone else read these connections into Nietzsche, or (as is likely)
>seen ones I missed?

	In his first book, _The Birth of Tragedy_, Nietzsche used a
couple of symbols that reappeared in _TSZ_: one was an eagle, the
other was the Sun!

	Then again, I think Nietzsche's sun is associated with the
Apollonian spirit and I think Gene Wolfe has explicitly said that the
New Sun is non-Apollonian.

	He also showed his dislike of Socrates and, by
implication, Plato. He accused Socrated of bullying people with talk,
IIRC and called for a balance between the Apollonian spirit (rational,
linked with moderation) and the Dionisian spirit (chaotic, wild,
potentially creative and destructive). This description is only a
small part of TBoT - it is a very complex book, including Nietzsche's
speculations on Greek drama as an outgrowth of religion.


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

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