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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) catamites and narrators
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 09:02:10 -0700

> Just a short note based off an old point made by James Jordan:
> he claimed that Wolfe would never have a protagonist with homosexual 
> encounters.  

While acknowledging Nutria's correction to "Christian moral 
exemplar," I wish to observe that it wasn't really necessary. 
Wolfe does not, in my opinion, involve any protagonist in such 
an encounter.

> However,there is some evidence that works against this both in 
> Fifth Head of Cerberus,

With all due respect, Number Five is not a "protagonist." 5HC
has none; it has viewpoint characters, but we do not -- I think
it's clear that we are not supposed to -- "identify" with them.
They are horrible, and we perceive them as horrible, and if any
single thing is clear from the cryptic last line of the first
novella, it's that there is no salvation or hope for any of 
them unless they are radically changed.

> in the relationship of Blood and Musk,

Hardly protagonists. That would be Silk. Musk is one of 
several clearly and unambiguously evil figures in tBotLS;
even his "love" is deeply warped by his evil. Blood is
a more ambiguous figure, and at times there seems to be
hope for him, but in the end he dies in, and because of, 
his own corruption.

> and in the strange commentary made by Severian about little
> Severian - (when he insists that he didn't have anything to
> do with molesting the child, who would have thought of that
> before he brought it up?  

Anyone familiar with the culture of the Commonwealth, I
think. As Nutria points out, Severian is not a "Christian
moral exemplar," but he does seem to be very heterosexual
... unless you want to go for the "don-Juanism as a cover
for homosexuality" blag. 

On the other hand, Severian commits almost every other
sexual sin available to him in the circumstances of his
travels -- incest, fornication, a kind of adultery, 
rape ... though not, as near as I can recall, bestiality
-- so the lack of homosex actually kind of stands out as
a blatant absence, donnit?

> Blood and Musk aren't evil becuase they are homosexual.  Not 
> even in Wolfe.  

No, though it might be argued that they're homosexual because
they're evil.

> While Wolfe may be clearly anti-feminist at times, I don't 
> pick up this hostility to the very idea of homosexuality. 

I think one point is that feminism is a political postion, 
while "homosexuality" (i.e., actual homosexual _acts_) are
a sin. The one is something that can be vigorously opposed;
the other is ... well, the orthodox Christian and Catholic 
position is that we are all sinners. I'm not to concentrate
on your sin, but my own. And sins like homosexuality are, 
in the end, appetitive sins and so not as extreme as sins
like blasphemy and violence. (Well, except in the somewhat 
extreme moral theology that regards all sexual sins as 
blasphemy against the Image of God.)



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