From: "Andy Robertson"
Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 23:17:32 -0000 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jerry Friedman" > > I don't see any kind of evidence that the Commonwealth is some kind of > Holy Empire. The idea that it's somehow the heir to the Holy Roman Empire > strikes me as really sick (not that someone would have to be sick to make > the speculation, but somebody would have to be sick to see the HRE as so > divinely supported that it persists past its official dissolution as a > force for good). I am surprised to find someone reading Wolfe with this sort of binary thinking The Empire was never simply a force for good. It was *meant* (in Catholic legendarium) to be a pattern of the kingdom of heaven on Earth, with the Emperor being in the position of God. Not that he would be god, or have divine powers, but that he would show forth the virtues of heaven as far as it was possible for a man. Of course in reality the Empire beame utterly corrupt, and was in fact taken by the forces of Antichrist (as the Turks were thought to be) This corruption was also worked into the legends. Now of course Wolfe doesn't think his Commonwealh is the literal descendant of the HRE: but it is like it symbolically, because it is the bit of the Urth uniquely connected to Heaven - or rater to thos powers whch in Wolfe's universe are the analogs of heaven. **And Therefore** it is very corrupt. If Wolfe thought to trace a historical link, it would be a joke he made. However, symbolically, the Commonwealth is like the HRE. hartshorn --