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From: Ron Hale-Evans <rwhe@apocalypse.org>
Subject: Re: (urth) Mankind
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:39:05 

At 05:45 PM 11/22/99 -0600, Roy wrote:


>How then can the Hieros, a higher, or at least more powerful lifeform than
>Man, be any less culpable for doing to Man what Man is being punished for
>doing? Whence the moral authority? The Increate? This is at best cosmic
>hypocrisy. Or is this another case of "do not as I do; do as I say do",
>which is a variation of the "might makes right" ethos.

I think this falls under "willing, temporary suspension of disbelief." The
same problems that many on the list see with the plotline of the Book of
the New Sun also apply to, er, the plotline of the Bible. Would I worship a
God who behaved as does the God in the Bible? No, and I am not obliged to
assent to statements made by anyone who both believes the Bible and
believes that their God is good.

But Wolfe has created a "secondary world" in the Tolkien sense. In a very
real way, it is *Wolfe* who is the God of Yesod and Briah. The Increate
that he describes is really just Wolfe's hand puppet -- just another
character in the book! Wolfe tells us that (a) the Increate is good, and
(b) the Increate sees fit to destroy Urth. A contradiction? Maybe, but we
have to accept it in the context of the book, because those are the
premises of the book. To deny them would be equivalent to chanting "Death
of the Author, Death of the Author" under one's breath and deliberately
reading, say, the Foundation Trilogy as merely being the demented ravings
of Hari Seldon, who is actually a patient in a mental hospital on Trantor
(or better, Earth). This kind of Borgesian PoMo deconstruction and
reconstruction can be done -- nothing is easier -- but it is far more
interesting to me (in this context, at least) to try to understand what the
author is saying, or trying to say. Wolfe obviously has something to say,
and to deliberately read his book in a perverse way is equivalent to
handing a salt shaker to someone asking for water. You might have your
reasons for doing so, but they have very little to do with rational

I despise the Bible's Book of Revelations and think the world would have
been a lot better off if that particular opium nightmare had been omitted
from the canon, as it almost was. But because TBOTNS is such a rollicking
good read, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for the duration,
temporarily accept that there are Great Beasts in the oceans, etc., and dig

This, incidentally, is what I was trying to get across to Ori the other day.

Ron H-E
Ron Hale-Evans: rwhe@apocalypse.org  ... <http://www.apocalypse.org/~rwhe/>
Center for Ludic Synergy:        <http://www.ludism.org/>
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Hexagram-8 I Ching Mailing List: <http://www.apocalypse.org/~rwhe/hex8.html>
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*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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