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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Neighbor + Inhumu + One?
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 11:17:22 

Hmmm...  Alga's mapping to Origen's ideas is interesting, but I'm not
convinced.  Universalism doesn't strike me as being particularly
Wolfean, given the number especially of short stories that are quite
comfortable in damning a protagonist ("Bed and Breakfast" certainly
doesn't carry much hint of demonic free will).  Also, despite some
obvious intentional points, a simple mapping of the inhumans to demons
or the Neighbors to angels seems false--the Neighbors seem more like
post-Urth Severian, of the "human" order of creation, but
transfigured.  The inhumi are different in that their nature is a
mirror of their prey (their will is reduced but present) but they are
in this a biological analogue also of Wolfe's chems and machine
intelligences--a mirror in this case of their prey rather than their
makers, of course.  This doesn't strike me as very Origenist, in that
except in Severian's visit to get the New Sun I don't think we see
anything that is really meant to be of an angelic nature.

Oreb: I'm still puzzling over which God rides Oreb--and part of me
says "the Outsider, silly."  Does "The Night Chough," which I haven't
read, make this more explicit?  I also find it very interesting that
Oreb, who I think we can all agree is very much a Holy Spirit figure,
is also the primary comic relief in Long and Short Sun.  I think this
is fitting with his Spirit of Truth nature as well, and it reminds me
very faintly of the way Muriel Spark and Flannery O'Connor make use of
terrifying or comical Holy Spirit symbolism.

And by the way, unless I'm recalling incorrectly (which is quite
possible) Origen wasn't precisely "consigned to hell"--a number of his
propsitions (from De Principis mostly, I think) were condemned, but a
number of church figures have defended him as a fundamentally orthodox
fellow carried away with intellectual speculation at times, and
certainly no rebel against Church authority in his day.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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