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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Detective of Dreams
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 12:07:49 

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

On 4 Mar 1998, Tony Ellis wrote:

> Rostrum wrote:
> >Which parable is the last dream (the one where the woman watches her
> >husband fly to pieces when he orders the Stranger shot)?
> Sorry, it's been too long since I read this story to remember the 
> particulars, but I'm sure somebody else on this list must know.
> It may be a reference to "Judge not, lest ye be judged" or something
> similar, in which case it would have been more acccurate of me to
> say "teaching" rather than "parable".

That seems kind of a stretch to me.  This story has always been
unsatisfying to me because I can't find a good fit for the third dream.
The other two dreams are straight re-tellings of two of Jesus's parables.

This third one has echoes of Pilate's wife being warned in a dream to tell
Pilate to "have nothing to do with this man." And, as you say, some of
Jesus's sayings have a slight similarity (woe to those who are happy and
oppress others, for they will weep and mourn, or maybe those who live by
the sword will die by the sword).  Maybe the parable of the vinyard where
the tennants who kill the son will be put to death by the owner, but even
there, the emphasis of the parable has more to do with Jewish failure to
recognize God's messengers than a tit-for-tat, if you kill you will die
violently.  None of these options are so close that I can see the
Detective saying, "Aha! That dream is actually about Jesus!" 

In fact the dream almost seems a reversal of the Gospel message.  Instead
of Jesus dying so that the guilty might live, in the dream, he who tries
to kill "Jesus" is instead himself killed.  Pilate isn't zapped by God in
the Gospels for killing Jesus; for all we know, he might even have
repented and been forgiven.

Anyone else have thoughts on making the last dream fit?


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