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Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 22:30:22 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) The Saga of the Urth Mailing List: An Excerpt
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 6/11/02 4:01 PM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes at ddanehy@siebel.com wrote:

> Emerging from the murky    mists of the Internet,
> composing on computers    their provident remarks,
> James and Jeff   have jointly written:
> A simple and, I think, elegant resolution, which is consistent with
> the text: in many universes, possibly in many worlds in a single
> universe, Man or some other sentient race has Fallen. In one and only
> one of these universes, the second Person of the Trinity became
> incarnate and allowed Himself to be sacrificed to reconcile these
> sentient races to the Godhead. In many other times-and-places, however,
> the Godhead "enlightened and possessed" a person to perform acts that,
> in the sense of the Mass but more so, are united with and copresent
> with the unique Incarnation and Sacrifice. For a person who knows only
> of these events, belief in them is essentially belief in the unique
> event.
> God is, after all, a torturer.

So in every universe, there is a figure who is regarded as a sacrificed
God-become-man, but only one of these universes has it right?  In that case,
how do we know that we're the lucky ones?

What occurred to me when I first read Wolfe's past-universe comment was that
the Theoanthropos could be an anticipated future figure, rather than a past
figure.  Is there anything in the books which rules this out?

>> It also contains a direct quote from Genesis, and another from
>> Marlowe's FAUSTUS. No. No. No. Urth is in our Earth's far future.
> ...is just a wee tad more difficult to dismiss. It _is_ hard to
> imagine that in a simple repetition of the repeated Big Bang/Grand
> Gnab variety, such details would be repeated. Perhaps, though, we
> can suppose that Wolfe is borrowing a page from Nietzsche and
> considering it all as a species of "eternal recurrence"? Or that
> the Hieros, seeking to guide the recreation of the species that
> created their predecessors, do so with the kind of obsessive
> accuracy that actually does result in such recurrence?

If that's the case, then presumably Severian and his story would recur too,
rendering the whole question academic.

> The short of it is, though, that I disagree, because I think
> putting Urth in a past cycle seems to me to make sense,

Why?  I don't see a single advantage to it, aside from partially answering
the question "How did we get Sev's story?" which, after all, arises with
every SF story set in the future.



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