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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Horn and Silk
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 11:32:39 -0800


Thanks for the thoughtful (and, by-and-large, supporting) remarks.

I see your point about _Exodus_ having some aspects of Acts and of
Rev.; but even if I thought those aspects were stronger than I do,
there's nothing in LONG that in any way parallels the Epistles. I 
guess the point that really tipped it over for me, and then I forgot
to mention it in my previous post, was the the observation that much 
of SHORT is written in a sort of extended epistolary form. The first 
two books, and the first "I" sections of the third, are a huge letter 
home. Further, there is the interesting parallel between the letters, 
like Hebrews, that seem not to have actually been written by Paul but 
by someone writing in (so to speak) his voice: I think this bears 
some looking at in regard to the authorship of the Book of Horn,and 
especially of RttW. 

I hadn't thought of adding Matthew to the mix, but he's an interesting
choice. (Was it him or Mark who started out as a tax collector? Can't
recall off hand. At any rate, I don't see much relevance to that...)

The interesting thing is that, though he isn't consciously evangelizing,
wherever he goes, the Narrator spreads and adds to the myth of Silk. 
He makes clear early on, though he never says it, that the people of
Gaon think he's Silk - I believe the way he puts it is that he is the
only person in Gaon who doesn't know where Silk is.

What I am suggesting, though, is not that we should "superimpose Peter 
on Horn," or that we look at Horn as a parallel to Paul, Peter, or any 
of the other particular Apostles and Evangelists, but rather as a sort 
of parallel to all of them - that is, in much the way that Silk and 
especially Severian play so much of the role of Christ's life without 
_being_ him, so too I think Horn is profitably seen as playing out a 
role that could be called "apostle-and-evangelist," but not as actually 
repeating or replaying the life of any specific Apostle or Evangelist. 
My own stumbling and bumbling through various details about Peter and 
Paul, in other words, wasn't aimed at saying "Which is he like?" so 
much as "He's like one of them."

All of which should teach me that I'd best not try to express this sort 
of thing at unGodly hours of the morning.

I really can't see the Narr's travels as a "pilgrimage to the Holy Land"
or anything to parallel the Crusades - primarily because I really can't 
see the "Church of Silk" having arrived at anything near the medieval 
stage in the short time the exodants have been on the Short Sun Whorls. 
I do see your point about the effect of the Gospel on the various tribes;
and while there is no overarching Empire of the sort that conditioned
and informed the travels of Paul and other early missionaries, the 
situation reminds me more of these than it does that of the early-medieval
missionaries like Augustine and Cyril. I'm willing to be convinced,

But I think we have here a situation at roughly the stage where Peter 
and Paul are just beginning to realize, and to tell the others, that 
the Goyim have to be let into the church - a fair parallel to the 
inspir(it)ed Narrator's somewhat mysterious insistence on treating 
Jahlee and Fava as people (because of the Secret Of The Inhumi). So
your comments about the "unconverted Gentiles" are in fact right on
the mark, but militate for an earlier parallel. (Historically, though,
I can't think of anything that might parallel the Secret. The Secret
of the Gentiles? Puh-leeze.)

That this may add some nuances to our thoughts about the way(s) in which 
Silk and Horn are present in each other. Horn has quite literally become 
incorporated into the Body of Silk; but he is enabled to act, and granted 
his wisdom, through the power of the Spirit of Silk. H'mmmm... I wonder 
if these books are ultimately going to prove to be quite inaccessible to 
anyone unwilling to really think from a Christian-Catholic point of view?

Interesting comments about "the Mother"/Silk's Mother/the Earth Mother/
the BVM.  Yes, Catholicism does a great deal of syncretism (incorporation 
of local mythology) - on, I believe, the assumption that these mythologies 
were God's way of preparing the various peoples of the world to receive 
Christ. But historically, the reverence of the BVM goes back very early 
indeed; and while this would not be, from the Protestant PoV, an argument 
for reverence of the BVM, it _is_ an argument, from the Catholic (i.e.,
Wolfe's) PoV for not thinking that said reverence of the BVM comes from
this sort of syncretism.

Still and all: if we accept LONG as being the "parallel" to the _entire_
NT, then perhaps it's worth looking at SHORT as a hagiographic legend?
Certainly a number of these involved apparitions of Christ.

Obviously Wolfe has constructed a "new narrative that is not just an
allegory"; but the same can be said even of books of any quality (e.g.,
Lewis's Narnian tales) that blatantly _are_ allegories: that is, they 
are not _just_ allegories.


Side note, from Dan'l to James: You wrote:

> his voyage to horrible Green can be seen as Peter's journey to Rome,
> where he died -- though this is not in the New Testament, and
> protestants like me don't believe it happened, yet it is a central part
> of Wolfe's Roman Catholic committments.

I've never quite understood this, btw - most Protestants believe many 
things that aren't in the Bible (i.e., "Cannibalism and polygyny are
wrong," "Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo," "The Gospel according to
Matthew is divinely inspired, but the Gospel according to Thomas is
not," etc.) - why do so many Protestants feel so strongly about rejecting
this particular bit of historical trivia? I mean, it isn't as if this
is in any material way the basis of the claims of the Papacy.



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