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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Divine Weak
Date: Tue,  2 Dec 97 17:39:00 GMT

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Reply:  Item #6180832 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#


Re: Solange as stereotypical name for a maid.  Onomasticly or
otherwise--do you have any examples or sources?  (I've looked OED and

Tony Ellis,

Re: Divine Week, again, let me stress that this is the most
speculative bit.  It arose from my having "discovered" the patterns
of four and five segments in TBOTNS/URTH as hologrammically
reproduced (or anticipated) by most of the stories from the brown
book (which also have five segments or are truncated at four segments
as TBOTNS is truncated without URTH).  When I tried to apply this
scheme to the play E&G it didn't fit as cleanly as the fit I'd gotten
from brown book stories, so I started casting about for a different

However, it is, I believe, less arbitrary than you seem to think,
since Genesis of the Old Testament does, after all, begin with a
Divine Week of creation (from "In the Beginning . . ." to ". . . and
on the seventh day He rested") and this play =is= titled "Eschatology
and Genesis."  (Granted that the OT Genesis doesn't follow planetary
attributes that we recognize today--they didn't have exactly the
planetary week that we have.  But the menora has seven branches,

Thursday is "Jupiter's day" for the same reason that Monday is
Moon's day--i.e., that is the planet associated/inextricably linked
with that particular weekday.  (I probably should have listed them as
"Planet Gods" rather than just planets?)

FWIW Gabriel's role in the play is more like a herald, a "Mercury"
of that sort (as opposed to psychopomp/shaman which I've assigned).
The (Old) Autarch's role in TBOTNS is linked to the Old Sun (and also
a bull of some sort: either the sacrificial Taurus, or/and the
Minotaur of the maze [if there is any real difference between these
archetypes!]); these linkages are probably carried out in
E&G by having the same actor play Autarch and Old Sun (who is
sacrificed for the New Sun).

The whole Divine Week idea is tenuous and =only= has a toehold if the
play has seven scenes--no more, no less.  The strongest parallels (imho)
are the hypothetical Sunday and the visible Saturday.  For Thursday I was
looking for thunder and other jovian or jovial things--then again,
sentences of torture take us to Juppiter's grimmest side: condemning
Prometheus to eternal torment, etc.

Here is another general statement about E&G: I don't think it is as
much an unconscious blending of various and sundry eschatologies and
genesises; rather I think it is a self-aware, self-conscious
eschatology and genesis that remembers (or whose audience remembers)
all the earlier stories (as well as our post-modern concepts of
evolutions and extinctions) and now makes them equally valid and somehow
sequential--this is the umpteenth eschatology and genesis in a long
series.  (Kabbalah opens up Genesis from the same OT text and finds
not one creation but the creations of four different universes, each
successively further from God; and of course the Hindu cosmology
which posits a chain of four major ages, from a golden age to a base and
degenerate age, with minor twilight ages and apocalypses in between.)


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