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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) de Sade, Plato, and Jack the Ripper.....
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 13:13:58 

Re: the Budrys line in review of THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER.

Alex Groce wrote:
>        I think Plato is definitely the easy one of these to find.  My
>guess would be Severian's "We believe that we invent symbols"
>passage--which I showed a friend as an example of Wolfe's writing, and he
>said "Nice writing, but it's just Plato's old stuff about Ideals."  Maybe
>not exactly, but certainly related.

I'd agree with that.  Add details like Thecla's mention of "agathodaemon."
Perhaps all the Hellenic/Hellenistic terms, even the names of weapons, add
to a "Greek-ness" which then led Budrys to "Plato."

For traces of de Sade, I'd say offhand: "Algedonic" and any issues of
algophilia among the torturers, as discussed by Severian (although I'm not
sure how much of this is done in SHADOW itself).

For traces of Jack the Ripper, I'd guess: issues of beating prostitutes,
which comes up first in the cab ride and later at the brothel itself (of
course, this has de Sadean applications as well).  Maybe the casual mention
of the murdered body near the cafe, even though this seems to be more the
victim of a thugee attack than that of a knifeman.  Maybe the serial
killings perpetrated by the evil twins.  Maybe even the hallucinatory
talking skull trick (that Agilus uses in the shop) seems like the visions
of or by a ripper?

Since Budrys was only writing a brief review, it is probably nothing more
than a few details such as these, which stuck in his mind as possible hooks
for other readers.


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

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