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From: douge@nti.com (Doug Eigsti)
Subject: Re: (whorl) gammadion
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 10:19:42 

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

> 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
> mrichman@bc.cybernex.net
	I agree. Remember that in NEW SUN, Wolfe was acting as the
"translator", and something is always lost in translation. If we can
presume the same scenario for LONG SUN then the choice of the word
"gammadion" may be just the closest approximation describing the artifact
worn by members of the Chapter. Obtaining a definition out of our
contemporary dictionary cannot be seen as authoritative, only suggestive. 
As Michael Richman points out the object in question is clearly joined 
out of separate pieces. "Our" gammadion is four gammas placed to form a 
cross out of the void, yet they do not touch, a necessity for a physical 
object. Pas's gammadion may, indeed, be a parody of the gammadion listed
in the citation and not a precise duplicate.


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