From: "Terry Lago"
Subject: RE: (urth) Being and pretending Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 11:20:41 -0400 -----Original Message----- From: James Wynn [mailto:email@example.com]=20 Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:34 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 = 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 god." --- 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 = (especially 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 = take on these good traits (can't give the exact quote, sorry) seems to imply = that *acting* in a certain way is at least as important as actually *being* = that way. In fact I'd say that the one predicates the other. This seems very = much to me like the Catholic idea of the habit of virtue...it may not always = be innate in a person, but the more it is practiced as a habit the more it becomes a 'true' part of one's character. T. --=20 --