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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Carlos M. post
Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 07:24:17 

Carlos Martinho wrote:

> The "chruch
> invisible" is the deeper mystical elements that
> would exist even if
> all churches were destroyed.

This is a very interesting point. When I started to
read TSOTT (and I didn't know where things were going
to), I thought, at first, that the myths about the
"Conciliator" and the "New Sun" were some sort of
memory of Christianity, just weakened, warped by time.
And I don't know why, but I always thought of Dr Talos
play as some sort of Gospel, just warped by time and
age (as the Minotaur myth, in the story of thecannon-boat in the labyrinth).


    I have been trying hard -- very hard -- to stay the hell out of these
religious wars, but this is your second post and I thought I would take the
opportunity to extend a belated welcome to the urth lists -- er, that is
urth list. Averns are, of course, optional, but if you can find a used
Sidero suit I would advise you to wear it. <g>

    FWIW, I, too, thought the Conciliator and New Sun were Christian echoes.
Further, I think they were intended by Wolfe to evoke Christian resonances.
A conciliator is certainly an apt description of a messiah. Also, the term
is evocative of the popular role of Mary as intercessor, and Mariolatry is
and long has been a big factor in the history of the RC church. And I don't
think that Wolfe could have missed the obvious New Sun = New Son
association, just as Sev's career parallels that of Jesus, right down to the
death of the old order and resurrection of the new, by heroes of light at
the same (commonly reckoned, for Jesus) age of 33.

    Wolfe may have changed his mind about how the Urth cycle would end,
sometime between _Citadel_ and _Urth_, at least judging from his intentions
as stated in "Helioscope" (published, 1980), where he says:

"The challenge to science fiction today is not to describe a slightly
hyped-up present, but a real future -- a time radically unlike the present
that is nonetheless derived from it. Clearly, there are more than one of
those futures. There is the future in which mankind returns to the sea for
new sources of food and raw materials. There is the future of extermination.
I decided that the future most in keeping with the dark figure I planned and
his journey toward war was what I call the do-nothing future, the one in
which humanity clings to its old home, the continents of Earth, and waits
for the money to run out."

    Of course, he may only have been referring to the de facto situation
which obtained on Urth when Sev came on the scene, but it is not in fact
what happened at the end of _Urth_. Notice also that he wrote "Earth", not
"Urth". I think this answers the question bandied about lately of which came
first, Earth or Urth, and whether the latter world was informed by the
former. The answer is "yes". Jesus and Homer and FitzGerald and Carroll and
the rest are all dimmed figures from Urth's remote past, which is our own.


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

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