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Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 00:10:42 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) blood, clute, beckett

This message is going to seem random, but oh well.  Hopefully the well-read 
literary types will answer my question in the last paragraph.

First comment - it seems to me that when Silk goes to the market to thank the 
Outsider for enlightenment, the suitable sacrifice he finds in not Oreb, but 
Blood.  Oreb is the wrong one; Silk must expiate the sin of the augur he 
emulates, Patera Pike, by erasing Pike's old errors.  Notice that he actually 
does cut Blood, as he intended to cut Oreb.  Myabe that's been commented on 
before, but it struck me as quite obvious this time.  It is also interesting 
that from the very beginning we know that Patera Pike also received 
enlightenment.  Some on the list may think that Silk was programmed to get 
that big burst of prescience when he was frozen; I don't know.  If so, that 
might say something about Pike as well.  So anyway, it became quite clear to 
me this time that Blood was Silk's sacrifice and he even met him at the market 
where he was looking for a suitable one.

Now 180 degrees to Mr. Borski's assertion that John Clute was sharp - perhaps 
so.  I never liked the part in his large encyclopedia when he said "perhaps 
Wolfe has never had an original science fiction idea, but that isn't where his 
importance lays".  I don't understand how Clute came up with the idea that the 
Autarch was Severian's mother (I think that was Clute, wasn't it?!).  
Otherwise, I guess I agree.

Now, speaking of absurd interpretations, this was the question I was hoping 
someone on the list could answer (I just don't know who else to talk to!). 
It's kind of a Wolfe-like case of enlightenment, similar to the one I got in 
Peace when I first realized the narrator was dead. Has anyone read Beckett's 
Trilogy "Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnameable"?  First, as I read The 
Unnameable, it made no sense.  Then I realized that the narrator was a penis, 
perhaps Malone's penis, who mythologized his existence by claiming that he 
used to have limbs, but now only cries out of his one eye while he sits rigid 
until a terrible darkness descends on him, when he isn't covered by an awful 
tarp.  I have looked online everywhere, but no one seems to agree that the 
narrator (Mahood, or The Worm) is in fact a genital organ.  Am I the only 
person in the world who thinks so?  I looked it up in the encyclopedia and 
they had the biggest BS about it being a metaphysical comedy similar to 
Dante's Divine Comedy blah blah blah.  Bunk.  They said "Mahood" was the name 
of a friend of Beckett, but I preferred the elided "Ma[n]hood".  It's a wang.  
The odd part about it is that everything that happens in the book then makes 
sense and serves a real purpose to the higher level being that the Unnameable 
doesn't know about - and this makes me think that Beckett is not the negative 
writer that I at first thought him to be, since it implies that the 
absurdities of the first two volumes actually serve a purpose at a higher 
level of understanding.  Just thought if anybody would have read it and 
received the same Wolfe-like revelation, they would be on this list.

Marc Aramini


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