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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: re: Re: (urth) Making sense of Castleview
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 18:34:49 +0000

Rostrum said:

> I'd love to see you're "straightforward" summary of how it ends.


> I remember one reviewer writting something like "Gene Wolfe stands at
> the
> bridge as the critics come by one by one to try to figure out
> Castleview,
> and all are knocked into the moat."

No mere summary of mine can hope to create such an amusing mental
picture as that, alas.

But surely “how it ends” is just your good old-fashioned pagan fertility
ritual, as documented in everything from ‘The White Goddess’ to ‘The
Wicker Man’? Winter (old king Geimhreadh ) kills the year (the Green
Man) so that it can be reborn in the spring. Shields is the
fool-hero-king who had to be sacrificed to bring this about.

If it seems confusing, it’s because we’ve approached it through the
medium of (mostly) Arthurian mythology. At the last moment the Arthurian
battle between ‘good and evil’ is revealed as the cyclic mystery of the
seasons. But there’s actually nothing revolutionary in this - the pagan
fertility ritual subtext of the Arthurian story ‘Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight’ has been the subject of a thousand undergraduate Eng. Lit.

Tony Ellis
On-line Editor, PC Format magazine
01225 442244 x2349

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

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