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From: "Terry Lago" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Being and pretending
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 11:20:41 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: James Wynn [mailto:crushtv@hotpop.com]=20
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:34 AM
To: urth@urth.net
Subject: Re: (urth) Being and pretending

Nigel pondered the following quotations:
"If I need more courage than I have to live, I will pretend to have it =
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 =
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 =
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 =
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 =
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 =

--- Crush

I'd say that the Inhumi provide a telling example of Wolfe's POV on this
issue. The fact that they, in some sense, become what they mimic =
ones like Silk-Horn's 'son' and 'daughter') and that Silk-Horn notes how
humans should be as good as they can in order to ensure that the Inhumi =
on these good traits (can't give the exact quote, sorry) seems to imply =
*acting* in a certain way is at least as important as actually *being* =
way. In fact I'd say that the one predicates the other. This seems very =
to me like the Catholic idea of the habit of virtue...it may not always =
innate in a person, but the more it is practiced as a habit the more it
becomes a 'true' part of one's character.




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