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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE as Faust
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2002 13:41:13 -0500

Blattid quoted and wrote:

>Roy C. wrote ...
>> I agree that Weer isn't El Diablo. But how is it that Olivia
>> gets to go to heaven?
>The usual method is called "repentance."

And the textual evidence for this is . . . nonexistent.

mantis also wrote:

>P.S.  Olivia an adultress?  Roy, you surprise me again!  I had not
>such a thing was in your no-nonsense reading of PEACE . . . I hesitate
>even guess who the party or parties might be, nevermind the complicated
>ramifications.  Please tell!

The following quote happens to address both Blattid's "repentance" issue
and mantis's query. The context is the point in PEACE where Olivia
interrupts Smart's Tilly tale to suggest it's time for Den to go to bed.
It is the only place in the text where the subject of repentance and
Olivia comes up, and it makes clear the depths of her sincerity and

    "My aunt Olivia was not serious. She belonged to that school which
recognizes the just demands of duty by ritual observance, and had
ordered me to bed in exactly the spirit in which she would later--when
she was Mrs. Smart--repent three or four times a year of her casual
connection with Professor Peacock and her occasional nights with Mr.
Macafee." (145, Berkley)

And, of course, Den didn't go to bed then.

>> She didn't strike me as even a nice person, much less as
>> worthy of eternal reward. Before marriage she was a fornicator;
>> afterwards an adulteress.
>Has nothing to do with the case -- the whole point (well, _a_
>major point) of Christianity in general, and Catholicism in
>particular, is that _everyone_ is a sinner, but that doesn't
>stop you from being saved -- in fact it's why you need to be
>saved. And, because everyone's a sinner, nobody is "worse" than
>anyone else.

So, Herr Hitler and Mother Theresa were equal in God's eyes; what they
did in their lives had no bearing on their eternal fate. Interesting. So
long as Hitler had the presence of mind to say "I'm sorry" before he
died in that bunker, St. Peter had no choice but to open up the Pearly
Gates and let him in. I hope Mother Theresa wasn't caught unawares when
she died, that she wasn't having a bad day, lest . . . but I digress.

And the "meritorious acts" ordered by an augur in the wake of a shriving
counted for nothing. And Silk, observing Marble's joyful reaction to the
working eye he brought her, and feeling warm and fuzzy about it himself,
must have been suffering from one of Dr. Crane's cerebral accidents when
he had the presumption to write of some day standing before his Maker: "
. . . but if ever a time comes when I must justify my existence--when I
must account for the space I have occupied, the food I have eaten, and
the air I have breathed--I will tell about Maytera's eye first of all. I
doubt that I will have to tell anything else." (RTTW, 307)

I don't want to get into another theological conflict; I cede you the
high ground. But you can't tell me, so far as Wolfe's religious beliefs
can be inferred from his work, that he believes the acts of an
individual in life are not weighed in the final balance, regardless of
technical conformity to Christian/Catholic dogma.



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