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From: Michael Richman <mrichman@cybernex.net>
Subject: (whorl) gammadion
Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 21:24:57 

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

>There's a picture of a gammadion(a) on the next page which looks the
>same as the Gammadion (1) on the Compendium of Crosses website that
>someone referred to way back when (for recent subscribers the URL is
>www.amulet.co.uk/symbols/crosses).  The Greek Orthodox connection is
>interesting for one thing since Byzantine history obviously influenced
>tBotNS; the four gammas arranged in the form of a plus (+) sign also has
>the advantage (over the swastika form of the gammadion; see Gammadion
>(2) on the Compendium website) of corresponding to the "sign of

While it may be a symbol of the Greek Orthodox Church, the gammadion as it
appears in the Book of the Long Sun seems more reminiscent of the T symbol
from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  In that book, the T of the Model T
became the symbol of the state religion; the purely material becomes divine.
The gammadion in Long Sun is just a set of screwdrivers that can be joined
end to end for ease of storage; again the purely material becomes divine.
In Brave New World I think it is a case of people having forgotten what the
divine really is.  As for Long Sun, Comely Kypris herself says that the
Chapter was set up as a parody of the state religion on Urth.

Michael Richman
380 Homans Av
Closter, NJ  07624

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