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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) Deep Thoughts: The Play, the Worm, the Rose
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 07:43:24 

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

Some coincidental thoughts from all the ideas turning up: I dug around to
find the original Zoroastrian creation myth (here it is, in more detail than
some of you may care for: http://www.avesta.org/pahlavi/bundahis.html ). And
I was noodling around with wondering why Wolfe, a professed Catholic, if
perhaps not conventional, chose to use this model, which ignores Original
Sin in favor of a thoroughly dualist universe. And I though, well, Urth is
dualistic, but Briah is not. And then I thought---aha, the series metaphor
for Original Sin is the black hole at the heart of the Old Sun! Which
Severian, the Savior, obliterates.

I must say, this black hole had escaped me completely, though mantis thinks
it is so obvious as to be beyond comment. But, though I still don't know how
it got there, it seems a very powerful and important image to me. And I add
to it Blake's equally powerful "The Sick Rose." Blake was, of course, a
religious maverick bouncing off Protestantism, and may not have been
thinking of Original Sin at all, but the poem is so apt as to be
breathtaking, and we know that Wolfe was quite consciously using rose
imagery throughout. Here it is:


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