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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) 
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 07:52:23 

From: "Mitchell A. Bailey" <MAB@lindau.net>

> I think that Wolfe conceived of Ascia as Orwell's Oceania from _1984_
> carried to the ultimate degree. The Ascians do not merely speak
> Newspeak, but are limited to quotes from "The Group of Seventeen's
> Little Red Book". Yet the boot stamping on the human face has failed
> after millenia to totally stamp out the humanity. Wolfe is much more
> optimistic than Orwell was. In my view, to postulate that Ascians are
> from another planet detracts from that idea.

I agree completely.  To my mind, Severian's conclusion that there is
no thought that LTTGO17 could not express is essentially Severian's
(and Wolfe's) rejection of the simplified version of the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis, that the structure of language delimits thought (I know,
way oversimplified, but I don't want to start a S-W thread!).  And
furthermore, it demonstrates that depsite their 4th world (not in the
Kirby sense :-) living conditions, they too have stories and folklore.
Finally, it allows Wolfe to pull yet another bit of Borgesian
abstraction: Foila herself having to "translate" LTTGO17's story.  The
"story competition" is one of my favorite parts of the whole series.

Lex Shellac

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

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