FIND in
<--prev V28 next-->

From: DhSunanda@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Zoroastrianism?  Buddhism?
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 17:13:46 EDT

Hi Alex,

> So, then, is Wolfe parodying the Buddhist text, or the Ascian version
>  thereof?  After all, what Loyal-17 says most strongly suggests that the
>  problem is (A) the restrictions imposed on the Ascians are in fact 
>  "real speech" to be translated through a medium that repeats lies (about
>  the wonderfulness of the Ascian way) and (B) it doesn't, in the end, 
>  prevent much from being said (the anti-Orwell/Whorfian subtext).

Well, Wolfe quotes the Buddhist text pretty straight (if that is what he is 
doing; he's a tricky writer to pin down), but the Ascians are using the 
teaching to create a State of mindless conformity. That's the exact opposite 
of what Buddhism aims at.

In that sense it is a parody of the Buddhist text. Wolfe could be parodying 
the followers of religions in general, saying '"look at the effects of 
memorising texts rather than acting on their spirit").

Of course, as you point out reality can always break through cliche. That's 
true, but difficult. Doesn't Shadow somewhere near the beginning have a 
remark to the effect that concepts are much weaker than the words we use to 
bind them? (Sorry for not looking it up. My copy has unaccountably vanished).

The theme of innovation and experience versus tradition and ritual runs 
through all five Urth books.


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

<--prev V28 next-->