FIND in
<--prev V304 next-->
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 05:59:20 -0500
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) What is your favorite quote of any work of Wolfe?

At 12:01 AM 4/11/2003, Blattid cited:

>     What struck me on the beach - and it struck me indeed,
>so that I staggered as at a blow - was that if the Eternal
>Principle had rested in that curved thorn I had carried
>about my neck across so many leagues, and if it now rested
>in the new thorn (perhaps the same thorn) I had only now
>put there, then it might rest in anything, and in fact
>probably did rest in everything, in every thorn on every
>bush, in every drop of water in the sea. The thorn was a
>sacred Claw because all thorns were sacred Claws; the sand
>in my boots was sacred sand because it came from a beach of
>sacred sand. The cenobites treasured up the relics of the
>sannyasins because the sannyasins had approached the
>Pancreator. But everything had approached and even touched
>the Pancreator, because everything had dropped from his
>hand. Everything was a relic. All the world was a relic.

         Though different, this reminds me of *The Little Prince* -- the 
fox's explanation of why the Prince prizes his rose above all others, even 
though it is on the other hand just one rose among many. We can be sure 
that Wolfe has read *The Little Prince* (who hasn't), though I doubt if his 
selection of a rose-thorn was directly inspired by it (for the imagery is 
ancient and pervasive).
         The beloved rose is, of course, the Church, when God is the lover. 
And the Prince is a semi-Christ-figure, seeking sheep, caring for the rose, 
dying so as to make the starry heaven "real" to the narrator. Wolfe is 
surely trading on such traditional imagery with his rose, fountain, and 
ship -- the fountain associated with the Spirit of God, and both rose and 
ship with the Church. No accident that (female) Perelines hold the 
rose-thorn in trust.




<--prev V304 next-->