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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Returns
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 97 00:23:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #3792019 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET#


Hey there, hi there.

Re: religion in the Commonwealth and/or TBOTNS.  Sure, go
ahead--document for us your interpretation and/or spin!  Granted that
probably no one will agree with you entirely, and possibly no one will
agree with you at all, but still, the quest for self-expression is
the thing in and of itself.  (Like the Book of Mirrors . . . this is
no map, this is the thing itself.)

Today the Conciliator seems to me to be rather a lot like John the
Baptist, with his speech about, "Don't worry what happens to me--the
=next= guy who comes will be the New Sun."  And, of course, there
are (were) heresies that consider(ed) John the Baptist to be the true
Messiah, etc.  Not to cloud the issue.  But there are so many
heretical notions--so many substitutions on the cross of the ship
Tzadkiel (double-cross, triple-cross), so many indications that
everything is just for show (ala THE PASSOVER PLOT, et al.), that all
fights are rigged (the winner has been chosen ahead of time), that
all judicial trials are shams (the case has already been decided
ahead of time), and so on, that I begin to wonder if this is part of
the point: not the gnostic route that Peter Wright more-or-less
describes (using most of the items I've just listed), but instead a
sort of "compilation of worst case scenarios" that begins with the
outrageous notion of Jesus being a torturer (making a whip and a
cross, we are told in the Bible according to Wolfe) and then piling
on every juicy heresy that can be shoehorned in.  Including issues of
a twin, etc.  To what end?  As if to say, "With all this working
against him, the guy can =still= be Christian."

Meanwhile I've just received a note from Polly Morris of San Diego
area.  She asks,

"Is it possible to include more timeline tables for the `torturer'
series?  And a map of the ship's journey in URTH OF THE NEW SUN?  I
simply can't understand the path of the ship.  Not enough astronomy
in my background I guess.  I know Wolfe is writing sci-fi not fantasy,
but I just can't understand the thrust of the narrative. I love the
book, though."

I don't quite understand the first request--does she want more
details added into the existing framework?  Probably!  Or does she
just want text citations?  Not unreasonable!  (I'll just ask
her.)  Well, who doesn't?!  Then again there probably is some stuff
I've already worked out, notes gathering dust somewhere around here:
time of androsphinxes, eidolon guardians, details of the
Conciliator's brief visit to Urth . . .

A map of the starship's journey, now =that= would really be something!
I should put in all the notes I've got on that.  Diagram of Briah and
Yesod as being two conveyer belts moving in opposite directions . . .
All in all, more stuff for the delayed "Additions, Errata, &cetera:
Volume 3."


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