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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Messianic
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 08:15:25 

On Sat, 20 Nov 1999, Ori Kowarsky wrote:

> Keeping on with #2, let's examine the one miracle the Claw effects which
> does not appear to involve the Corridors of Time;  the changing of water
> into wine.  Now, if I recall correctly, when Jesus turned water into wine at
> the wedding in Galilee this was a useful miracle which improved people's
> lives on the material plane and also has obvious spiritual and symbolic
> value.  Turning water meant for washing in with no benefit (if you can call
> it benefit -- it ruins Sev's washing) to anyone except for Jonas and Sev
> seems like a pointless, slapstick accident -- like Jove's thunderbolt
> misfiring or Moses' bath water splitting when he tries to sit down in it.
> As another poster pointed out it seem to have at most two purposes -- a
> meta-fictional Christological flag planted by Wolfe, a possibility which is
> so inelegant I would prefer to discount it for his sake, or else an attempt
> by the Yesodites to trigger some half-remembered cultural fragment in Sev's
> education which will lead him down the path of believing in his own
> Messiahship.  Either way, it's cheap.

You're touching on my main gripe about URTH.  I wasn't convinced that the
stuff Severian did in his "career" as the Concilator was enough for him to
be remembered all the way to Severian's original time.  It's just a bunch
of Jesus-mimicking wonder working without any apparent purpose to it all.
There's no set of memorable teaching to be passed on; there's no sense
that his actions have some Greater Purpose that would make him significant
to subsequent followers.  It all seemed too perfunctory, too brief.  If
the Concilator was such a powerful historical figure, his career deserves
at least an entire book--if not four.


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

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