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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Fairy Tale logic? Bah!
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 09:25:45 

On Tue, 2 Nov 1999, Ouroboros wrote:

> No, no, no, no. Wolfe does not use "Fairy Tale logic"

I agree with this.  When I think of "Fairy Tale logic" I think of George
MacDonald (e.g. "The Golden Key" or _Phantasties_) which has a very
different feel from what Wolfe is doing.

> Quantum tunneling is the theory behind Father Inire's
> mirrors. It is also how Severian brings the New Sun.

On the other hand, I view this as somewhat equivalent to Dr. Crane's
theory about Silk having a stroke.  It still leaves too much unexplained.
How can QT explain the New Sun being attached to Severian, or being
"birthed" by an act of intercourse?

I agree that Wolfe wants us to read TBOTNS as SF rather than fantasy, yet
I think he's also saying that this universe (Severian's as well as ours)
may contain wonders that are inexplicable.  He strings us along with clues
and partial explanations so that instead of thinking, "Oh, this is magic"
and dismissing it, we keep thinking "Surely there's an explanation for
all this...isn't there?"

If we are unsuprised by a butterfly pulled out of a rainbow (AGIA: "Aw,
Severian, that trick never works!") I don't think it is because we've
decided Urth is a fantasy world where magic "works," but Wolfe has made us
believe that such a thing could really happen--either because there is a
"scientific explanation," or because there really are miracles.


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

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