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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Ziggurat confusion
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 18:39:19 

In fact, thinking about this--doesn't Severian?  Horn?  Silk? someone somewhere
say "we all destroy what we love best."  THIS is the sense in which Emory
kills the coyote and his son--a strong analogy, in my mind, to the ways
Severian and Dorcas truly torture each other--with, I think, love as the root
of the pain.  

BLUE seems to deal with this in a central way, as well.  I think I've said
before that Wolfe seems to have a strong similarity with Dante's exploration
in The Divine Comedy (adopted from St. Thomas, of course)--that only where 
there is love can there be real moral pain or evil--at the root of the worst
things lies a perversion or erroneous hierarchy of loves--for Dante, and, I
suspect Wolfe, a hierarchy that mistakes some lesser object for God and inverts
the ladder of love into a parodic downward spiral.  Thus the insistence that
although Abaia/Erebus etc. can thwart the Increate to the extent that they
violate, presumably, the inherent good of their own natures, they cannot fail
to serve also as unwilling and angry agents of Providence--another theme in the
philosophies I'm guessing Wolfe is most comfortable with (anyway, the ones
Chesterton's POV is based upon*).

* for a (very Christian-biased, of course) treatment of the parts of Aquinas/
Augustine/Anselm/Aristotle and other "A"-list philosophers who seem to have an
influence on Wolfe, I suggest Etienne Gilson's _The Spirit of Medieval 
Philosophy_, especially as Wolfe doesn't claim to have read them all in the
original Latin/Greek or anything.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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

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