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From: "Nicholas Gevers" <potto@webmail.co.za>
Subject: (urth) Inire and the New Deluge
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 08:00:48 +0200

Very differing reactions to my suggestion re Inire as Father In Ire. I
think this illustrates Wolfe's fundamental and deliberate ambiguity;
he's assiduous in the Urth Cycle at keeping open the possibility that
Sev's actions serve the purposes of Erebus and Abaia, that the
Ragnarok future would be the more merciful to Urth's population, at
least allowing time for its partial evacuation (according to Ash).
Further, I feel that one of Wolfe's major themes is the sheer
inscrutability of any Divine Plan: from a human perspective, the
ultimate intentions of the Hierogrammates, let alone the Increate, are
vast and remote, allowing for almost any local cruelty as a
side-effect of the progress to some ultimate salvation on the cosmic
scale. This leaves the problem of how mere mortals should confront
this cruelty, in the execution of which Severian is necessarily, at
least from the immediate Commonwealth viewpoint, a dupe. I think it's
too pat to maintain that the people of Urth are just literary
constructs whose demise is unimportant, or krill in the path of the
inevitable orca of Destiny (to quote mantis, perhaps inaccurately);
surely Wolfe wants us to appreciate the magnitude of the human tragedy
wrought by the Deluge, as a measure of the terrible (if necessary)
cost of Faith.
Nicholas Gevers
 http://www.webmail.co.za the South-African free email service

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

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