From: "Andy Robertson"
Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 13:27:31 -0000 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Straight" > > How does Wolfe "denounce" rebellion against the Autarch in BOTNS? He > shows that the Ascian rulers are bad, probably worse than the government > of the Commonwealth, and he shows that Vodalus is no real revolutionary > (he just wants to seize power for himself and his friends) and a dupe > besides. > > As it turns out, the aliens are supporting and using the Autarchy for ends > that Wolfe seems to think are ultimately good, but I can't see how you > read that as saying Wolfe would condemn a true revolutionary movement that > was trying to overthrow the Autarch not because they oppose the New Sun or > want to seize power for themselves but to free themselves from tyranny. Politically, no-one seems to have mentioned Wolfe's only direct statement on the subject: Severian: "Unite? Shout? I know that you have isolated yourself, Master, to fix your mind on higher things, but I would not have thought any man could know so little of the land in which he lives. Carreerists, mercenaries, and young would-be adventurers fight the war. A hundred leagues south it is less than a rumour, outside the House Absolute". Master Ash: "Your Commonwealth is stronger than I would have believed, then. No wonder your foes are in despair". All of this signals that the goverment of the Commonwealth is a mystery, its weaknesses strengths, its disunity hiding a flexible union-in-diversity that is highly evolved and exquisitely tuned to survival. Attempts to understand the politics of Severian's nation are doomed unless this is understood. It is a nation that exists by divine right, and speaks for the whole of Urth. In LITTLE,BIG, John Crowley hypothesised that the Holy Roman Empire had, through a process of amalgamation, extension, and withdrawal, moved to beome the contemporarty USA. I wonder if Wolfe sees his Commonwealth as the Holy Roman Empire, extended yet furthur into the future? hartshorn Questions or problems: write firstname.lastname@example.org