From: "Nigel Price"
Subject: (urth) Yes he is! No he isn't! Yes he is... Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 15:29:06 -0000 Also Sprach Zibethicus: >>Nothwithstanding this, I think that my >>point about retaining a cautious distinction >>between theological and fictional intentions >>is still, possibly, a partially valid one. I've always been fascinated by the perplexing business of what Wolfe actually believes and what he puts into his stories simply because he happens to find it interesting. When I first encountered his books and before I knew anything about Wolfe the man, I remember thinking, "Gosh, I wonder whether the person who wrote this is a Christian?" Looking at the evidence as I read first TBotNS and then FLF and various other volumes, I was alternately going to myself, "Yes, he must be!" and "No! He can't be!" I know a little more about Wolfe now, but I still don't think I've got to the bottom of the matter. It's complicated. He genuinely seems to like playing about with odd theological ideas that he's come across, teasing out their implications and extrapolating them very much in the way that more traditional SF authors treat speculative scientific and technological ideas. As a typically uptight and repressed Protestant Evangelical, Wolfe's dabbling with speculative philosophical and theological ideas makes my (admittedly scant) hair stand on end. =:O)> Of course, just because Wolfe puts an idea in one of his stories doesn't necessarily mean that he thinks that it's true. But then again, he just might. By his own account, Wolfe is not entirely orthodox in his Catholicism. I know about some of his individual quirks and eccentricities, but by no means all. Contributors to this list sometimes say, "Wolfe is a Catholic and therefore he believes such and such," or "Wolfe is a Christian and therefore believes this thing and that." When I read such assertions, I'm usually sitting there mumbling, "Maybe," and "Possibly!" For the record, my guess is that "Westwind" and "The Detective of Dreams" are among the most explicit fictional expressions of Wolfe's personal faith. But I could be wrong... Nigel --