From: Peter Cash <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: (urth) swing low, sweet chariot Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 11:54:00 [Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works] Alice Turner <email@example.com> semaphored with her cilia: > Rock (that makes you a chem; sure you don't want to be Roc?) You have a PROBLEM with chems? And that's SERGEANT Rock to you, lady! >I'm going to make one last attempt at nailing "Tracking Song," and then move >on. Unlike Nutria, I do think it's a religious story, on one level almost an >allegory... Yes! I think you're definitely going in the right direction here; this helps me. Could it be (dare I bring this up? Is this perhaps what you were thinking? ) that Cutthroat is a christ-figure? He's been cast down into the fallen world, to share the suffering of its inhabitants--and ultimately to die into a new life. Too pat, probably. >...until what may be the moment of his death, at which >time the sought-for home appears. One may somewhat deplore the appearance of >a winged being but, in a story by a practicing Catholic, one can hardly >ignore it. If one reads this strictly as a science fiction story, then the sleigh is a death-bed hallucination. It can't be where it is--it can't have circumnavigated (do sleighs navigate?) the world in the time available. Thus, it has to be an illusion. But if this is a religious, allegorical story, then the sleigh is something more: it's a divine or angelic vehicle, come to carry Cutthroat home. I have to resist the constant temptation to read Wolfe's stories as only what they superficially appear to be: science fiction tales. Sgt. Rock P.S. Do you really work for Playboy, alga?