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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: (whorl) Inhumi Secret
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 20:06:15 

	I submit for your consideration that the secret is that men must die for
the inhumi. They must learn to die for each other, but in this narrative,
also to die for the inhumi. It's not just the golden rule, but being
willing to lay down your life for your enemies, as Jesus did.
	I submit that the eucharist the Outsider leads Horn to perform indicates
that this will turn out to be the answer. That's the meaning of the
eucharist, for by eating the death of Jesus into ourselves, we become able
to die for our enemies as He died for His.
	That's why the secret is so hard. Humans will find this the hardest thing
of all to do. It's harder than loving each other, because it's easy to love
the lovable. Or, it's the toughest kind of love.
	When humans become willing to die for their enemies, and inhumi acquire
this characteristic from them, the inhumi will be willing to die rather
than destroy humans. This will "destroy" the inhumi, though I suspect it
will not annihilate them but transform them somehow.
	I bet that Horn gives his life for Jahlee before it's all over.
	I also bet that when it's all over, the Memoirs of Severian, the Book of
Silk, and the Book of Horn will be seen as a progression. Severian never
really learns much about love, and certainly never dies for anyone. He does
grow and mature, but not as much as Silk. Silk makes much more progress,
but Horn will make the most. The triptich of their lives will make one
thematic narrative of personal growth and maturation into Christlikeness.
	I cannot help but think of the Casher O'Neill stories of Cordwainer Smith,
though I don't know if these influenced Wolfe at all. They deal with
politics, spirituality, and religion progressively, as "On the Gem Planet"
is a "mirror for princes"; "On the Wind Planet" is about conversion; and
"On the Sand Planet" is about the application of that conversion back into
the world. In a very broad way, Wolfe's three narratives follow the same
kinds of themes: in the real world, apart from the real world (on the
whorl), and back into the real world. Just a thought.
	But I'll bet I'm right about the secret.

Patera Nutria

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