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Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 14:26:37 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) mishima death cult

Mantis wrote:
>transcendent in the Mishima death cult way<

I'm so glad Mishima came up in this debate.  If we pare down his ideas to 
their essential level: beautiful things should be destroyed before they become 
ugly -> by destroying something you provide it with an immortal beauty that 
surpasses its temporal existence ... with people this involves dying at your 
best to achieve immortality (kind of like Bruce Lee).  To that we can throw in 
something about returning power to the Emperor, but I think Mishima believes 
that only because it is the most aesthetically pleasing doctrine (and we have 
heard "loyalty to the monarch" expressed in Malrubius' lesson in Shadow of the 
Torturer by Wolfe).  
What would Wolfe feel about this?  Wolfe can be transcendent, and death is the 
most obvious apotheosis ... but destroying yourself would not seem to be a 
good manner of going about things ... but we have the suicide of Thecla, her 
experience with the revolutionary which proves that internal conflict is the 
one that mankind need fear the most, her glorification through Severian (she 
is NOT really punished for her suicide -> she lives on in Severian [then 
again, maybe that could be a punishment]).
Horn also gives his life in what could be called suicide by relinquishing the 
body of Silk ...Silk may have tried to kill himself.  And we have the possible 
struggle between Pas and Silk as their personalities (might) battle to control 
the whorl's destiny as one being.  So Suicide does not appear to lead to 
certain damnation in Wolfe's work ... but seems almost a transcendent passage 
that Mishima would definitely jive with.  By denying and destroying the self 
(he who would throw his life away will save it, in the words of Krait by the 
pit) it appears that several of Wolfe's characters actually achieve the 
transcendent qualities that Mishima's ideals seek to enforce.
In any case, Mishima's preoccupations have often reminded me of things that 
occur in Wolfe, and I think he would be appropriate to discuss in this 
suicidal squad conversation.
Marc Aramini


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