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From: "John Barach" 
Subject: Re: (urth) What is your favorite quote of any work of Wolfe?
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 00:12:44 -0600

Here's one of my favourites:

     We believe that we invent symbols.  The truth is that
     invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard,
     defining edges.  When soldiers take their oath they
     are given  coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of
     the Autarch.  Their acceptance of that coin is their
     acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military
     life -- they are soldiers from that moment, though they
     may know nothing of the management of arms.  I did not
     know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe
     that we must know of such things to be influenced by
     them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most
     debased and superstitious kind of magic.  The would-be
     sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge;
     rational people know that things act of themselves or not
     at all (Shadow and Claw, p. 14).



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