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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Evidence of Christianity in Urth's past?
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 12:49:56 

On Wed, 6 Oct 1999, Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:

> A few details chosen at apparent random: Holy Katharine, St. Amand,
> Nilamon, Ctesiphon's Cross.  It seems to me that there are only three ways
> for these to appear in the text: either the roots of the Commonwealth's
> culture go so deep as to remember Christianity (in the same way that the
> Apollo Mission photo is retained in the picture gallery); or, the Church of
> the Conciliator has recapitulated Christianity (mainly a Greek Orthodox
> form) in a sort of parallel evolution (so the Commonwealth's Katharine
> isn't Earth's Katharine, she just looks like a twin); or it is all just a
> translating error on the part of Gene Wolfe.

That last bit gets at the possibility I was wondering about.  No one
reading Tolkien thinks that Aragorn is Christ-like because there was
Christianity in Middle Earth's past.  The resemblances are attributed to
Tolkien himself.  Is it possible that the religious stuff in the New Sun
looks like Christianity for the same reason the spaceships look like
sailboats: because Wolfe likes Christianity and sailing?

I think one reason I ask is that I'm trying to puzzle out whether
Severian's story is meant to be separate from the story of Christianity,
to be related in the mind of the reader, or whether Wolfe intends the
Christian story to be part of Severian's story (or vice versa).


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

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