FIND in
<--prev V6 next-->

From: "Kevin McGuire" <kmcguire@itw.com>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v006.n005
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 20:51:04 +0000

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

Hi folks,

Lots of interesting thoughts these past few days - it has been a real 
pleasure reading them.  

On Journeys Begun on False Pretenses:
One theme that struck me is in both the New Sun and Long Sun books 
was how the initial journey is motivated by something that turns out 
to be false, and yet the journey proves worthwhile.  In the New Sun 
books, the false coin of Vodalus serves to start Severian down his 
revolutionary (sorry) path.  

In the Long Sun books, Silk follows "false" (in a theological sense)
gods, and is often quite wrong in what he believes to be true, yet
his actions ultimately are for the good of the people under his
protection, though he doesn't actually restart the sun or anything
_truly_ spectacular.  

Silk's paganism (though certainly more technological than Latro's)
strikes me as similar in some ways to the Soldier books, in that
Gene seems to be making Silk at the start of the Long Sun a "virtuous
pagan."  Which is to say a good person who died before Christianity,
and thus without the salvation of the Church - these were the folks
that Dante consigned to the first (and not altogether unpleasant)
circle of Hell.  Wolfe believes that those who came before us were
intelligent people whose ideas about their world were entirely
reasonable given their circumstances, and in the Whorl, what could
be more reasonable than believing in gods who actually appear.  Silk
is the transition state from Latro's vivid pagan world-view to
Severian's christian one. 

On a more frivolous note - is there any connection between 
Typhon/Piaton and that episode of the Simpsons where Mr. Burns head 
is grafted onto Homer's body?  

"But Homer, tomorrow we are meeting with Queen Beatrix of the
Kevin McGuire    |"Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than
Philadelphia, PA | when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right"
                 |    --Laurents van der Post

<--prev V6 next-->