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Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 20:35:14 -0600
Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains
From: Adam Stephanides 

Sorry this response is so late.

on 1/29/02 2:01 PM, Michael Straight at straight@email.unc.edu wrote:

> 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.

As the only revolutionary leader in BOTNS, Vodalus represents the idea of
revolution.  If I read a book in which Lenin played a major role, and turned
out to be a tool of Satan, I wouldn't think that the author probably
approved of Communist revolutionaries who weren't tools of Satan.

And I think we're intended to believe the Autarch when he tells Severian
that he keeps the society of the Commonwealth frozen in barbarism because
"all else is worse," including rule by the people. (Sword and Citadel, p.
356, pb edition.)

I thought I also remembered Severian, or Thecla-in-Severian, admitting that
the revolutionary had been a fitting punishment for her, but I can't find
the reference.



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