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Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 11:15:28 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) extra-textual material

I am very interested in the possibility that Silk is a clone of Typhon (or 
Malrubius) and that Severian and Ymar are genetically related.  However, I 
think ascribing too much weight to details in "King Jesus" might be 
potentially misleading.  Has Wolfe even read it?  Myths tend to survive in 
fragments that are often changed and undergo misprision - perhaps the creative 
misreadings of these old ideas experienced something resembling convergent 
evolution, and the archetypal figures simply resemble each other since they 
are spawned from a common source instead of from a direct progression from 
Graves to Wolfe

Obviously a historical text like Soldier in the Mist can be better understood 
with the real historical documents in hand - like Herodutus, who I believe 
Wolfe mentions in his dedication.  However, the Sun books are not truly 
historical works - (but they are still mythical, if that makes any sense).

If Wolfe had inscribed "for Robert Graves" or given some other direct evidence 
that he had been toying with the ideas of King Jesus explicitly, then we could 
gladly make the comparison and use the earlier work to make intertextual 
interpretations possible, perhaps even likely.

Which is not to say that the relationships you see aren't really there - it's 
just that I don't think we can make use of one novel to make definitive claims 
on the interpretation of another without careful consideration.  Remember that 
Wolfe is, first and foremost, a writer - and a writer needs to write an 
interesting, creative story more than he needs to look up ways to rip off 
descriptions from an earlier writer.  Remember that somewhere in there Wolfe 
creates new things - some of his descriptions are made up on the spot, or else 
he is simply enacting the task of Pierre Menard, rewriting the story of the 
man whose very life has become a dream of the stories that he reads.

Marc Aramini


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