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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) mouse vis a vis rat pt 2
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997 22:40:37 

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

At 05:15 PM 4/8/97 -0400, Alga wrote:
>But I can't resist one more reminder. Who do we KNOW was worshipped on Urth
>from the time of Typhoon on? Why, the Conciliator, that's who, though it's
>not formal worship.

	Worship has degrees, esp. in Roman Catholicism. Gene is very clear that
Severian is not a Christ figure, but a Christian figure. Is Severian really
the one true and original Conciliator for Urth?
	Also, the Outsider worship is PRE-Typhon.

>And who do we KNOW who coos? Thecla, that's who. And
>not for a minute do I think that Wolfe would create a character with a
>trademark coo (it's a family trait, her sister coos too), and then be so
>careless as to assign this coo to another character in a related book--even
>if, as some of you suggest, that character is the BVM.

	The Holy Spirit, as dove, coos. (Now, which ear heard the cooing, and does
Severian's bird consistently ride the same shoulder? Hmmm.)
	Now, you may have a point here, though again the question comes whether we
are dealing with identity or analogy.
	You may think I'm pressing theology onto Wolfe, but that was really what
my interview with him was designed to find out. And the result is: It is
really there. Two voices, one clear, the other cooing. One is the Second
Person, the Word of God, who speaks; and the other is the Spirit. Both are
aspects of the Uncreated Increate Pancreating Creator who is Outside the

>I grant that the Sevarian is not the Increate (neither is the Outsider),

	Whoa! On what basis? It seems to me that the Outsider is indeed the
pancreating Increate.

>but by the end of the Urth series he is certainly as much of a god as JC is
>thought to be on this Earth--I think some of you want parallels to be too
>literal . 

	Nope. Remember the protestant missionaries from the 20th century
(equivalent) in "Shadow." It was not Severian they worshipped. Also, you
gotta bear in mind that for Gene, Jesus is not just thought to be God, He
IS God incarnate. And that is something Severian is not. Now, if Zelazny
had written these books, you'd have a point....
	Given what a trickster Wolfe is, I don't want to press the parallels too
literally, but at the same time, you gotta avoid going too far in the other
direction either. Severian is to the Jesus of Urth what I or any other
Christian is to the Jesus of Earth: an imperfect follower, following in His
footsteps and doing the things He did -- but not being Him. Jesus tells us
to pass out cups of cold water to the needy, and Severian does nothing more
than that, though on a really big scale. 

	I believe Nutrias, being aquatic, feed on algae....


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