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From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Nicholas=20Gevers?= <vermoulian@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth) Science and Miracles
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 11:34:11 

I agree with other parties to our debate that the
ever-present possibility of scientific explanations
for events enriches NEW SUN, lending it rigour,
speculative depth, and metaphorical power. But as LONG
SUN makes clear, it is sometimes the possibility of a
miraculous explanation that is the most effective
literary device in Wolfe's work. I think that Wolfe at
times intentionally misleads his readers into byways
of scientific explication, in effect challenging them
to see the wood for the trees, the Word for the World;
when they fail to find secular explanations, or
contrive ones that are trivial and unsatisfactory,
they must perforce acknowledge the supremacy of the

Another point: a miraculous explanation for a textual
incident doesn't entail capitulation to the
intellectually slack fluffiness of genre Fantasy
plotting. Wolfe intends us to understand supernatural
events as ultimately purposeful Divine interventions
or concessions, not as the random conjurings of elves
and wizards.


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