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From: "Dave Lebling" <dlebling@shore.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v029.n007
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 20:16:56 

> alga wrote:
> I think we need to
> think about where Vodalus stands with regard to Ascianism--is he really
> a heartfelt ally, or just taking advantage of the fire-power?

> Adam Stephanides wrote:
> I think that the contrast between Urth returning to the stars through its
> own efforts (as Vodalus advocates), and Urth's relying on the help and
> guidance of the Hierodules--and, by analogy, between two different
> theories of salvation--is key to the book

The Autarchy and the Ascians are solutions to the same problem. That is, the
people of Urth went to the stars, brought war and destruction, and were
chastised by the placement of the black hole in the Sun.  The cause is the
inborn nature of humanity ("original sin," perhaps?).  Both the Commonwealth
and Ascia are attempting to keep mankind away from the stars until it is
"perfected" or "cured" or "saved" (or whatever).  Vodalus clearly rejects
this point of view, proposing to recover Urth's empire, presumably with him
at the head of it.

This is all pretty explicitly in the book, aside from whether the black hole
was placed deliberately or it's just a funny coincidence.  We are told all
this by someone (the old Autarch, I _think_) lecturing Sev, in _Citadel_.
It starts with an explanation of why the roads are closed.

I refer again to C. S. Lewis's position, explicated somewhat in _Out of the
Silent Planet_ et seq., that space travel (or possibly only space
colonization) and immortality are sins.  This is a thread not far below the
surface in much of _New Sun_ and even in other works by Wolfe.

       -- Dave Lebling
          (aka vizcacha)

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

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