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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Rostum & Nutria
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 16:09:01 

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

At 07:22 PM 9/8/97 GMT, you wrote:
>[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]
>Reply:  Item #7943197 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#
>I don't want to sound alarmed, but I think you are both needlessly
>painting yourselves into antagonistic corners.
>To whit: Nutria writes "[Wolfe] has to come on-line and tell us
>point-blank: the Outsider is God!"
>Well no, he doesn't =have= to, unless I've missed something (and I
>admit freely that I might have); he didn't even bring it up himself,
>it was the question(s) posed by others that he answered. 

	Well, I asked the question, and only because there was so much debate
about it right here!
	I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I was only pointing out that some of
the clues in Wolfe are found in Christianity and the Bible, two sources
that many modern readers are strikingly unfamiliar with; or with which they
are only marginally familiar, with the result that they miss important
clues and chase rabbits. 
	If you don't know the history of philosophy, you will miss some of the
cute things in Asimov's *I, Robot.* Asimov might have been disappointed in
readers who missed such things, regarding the history of philosophy as
something people should generally know. That was my only point.

	Now, "Wolfe is not trying to convert anybody." Hmmm. Well, that's going to
depend on what you mean by "convert." In "The Detective of Dreams," a
stealthy invasion of the gospel is presented as the corrective to tyranny.
I think that's pretty much what is going on in both the Severian and Silk
narratives also, and elsewhere. Sure, that's just how Wolfe looks at
things. But, when a Christian communicates his ideas and worldview, that
CAN be called "evangelism" in some broad sense, no? Tyranny (statism),
idolatry, and Christianity are major themes and concerns in most of Wolfe's
serious work. But of course, he is not writing tracts, any more than
Shakespeare was writing tracts when he wrote plays to try and teach
England's rulers how to rule.

	Just some grist for your mill.



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