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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Being and pretending
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 09:33:46 -0500

Nigel pondered the following quotations:
"If I need more courage than I have to live, I will pretend to have it and
live anyway.  I did that on the battlefield . . .  I acted the part of a
hero.  That is to say, I acted as it seemed to me I would have if I had
actually possessed dauntless courage."
 -- On Blue Waters

"Not doing it doesn't do any good either-I mean, we're both here. My way, I
know I've made them jump; they shoot that stuff in me and I'm not mad any
more, but I know what it is and I just think what I would do if I *were*
mad, and I do it, and when it wears off I'm glad I did."
-- The Death of Dr. Island

....and Nigel speculates:
Just as the narrator in [the first] quotation is brave because he acts the
part of a brave man, so [in the second quotation, the speaker] is mad
because he acts the part of a madman. What can we deduce from this about
Wolfe's understanding of psychology and virtue?

...Perhaps there is no difference from the point of view of the observer,
but all the difference in the world for the person themselves, and,
therefore, for God too.

Crush continues:
In the same vein, what is Wolfe's belief about psychology and identity and
godliness? As he writes in 'The Book of the Long Sun":
""When a demon mimics a god, it can not help in some ways becoming like a

--- Crush


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