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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (whorl) Coo-coo-coo-roo
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 22:54:46 

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

Er-um. I really hate to back off, especially when a Big Rat threatens, but
I may have exaggerated that cooing. A rather hasty paging through couldn't
find Thecla cooing, though Thea certainly does (Shadow 13,14,98; Claw 268).
Did I misremember? Possible, but I don't have time to really check.

> (You know, I'm becoming more convinced that you would really
> appreciate Peter Wright's essays in that "Foundation No. 66"--now I'm
> down to wondering if you would have anything to argue against them
> beyond simple quibbles!)

Is this available commercially? Through amazon? I'm just about to place
another order, and will look.

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

Yes, I think that Serverian is the OT&OCFU. Who sez Outsider worship is
pre-Typhon (though I am perfectly willing to admit that Outsider worship
merges very nicely with older worshipful figures including pre JC ones)?

> 	The Holy Spirit, as dove, coos. (Now, which ear heard the cooing, and
> Severian's bird consistently ride the same shoulder? Hmmm.)

Oreb as Holy Spirit? Now that's a thigh-slapper.

> >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.

That's interesting. I never thought so. But then I think Severian is a god,
insofar as I understand gods, and I placed him as Wolfe's JC figure. I
simply can't see the Increate as a personal god.

> 	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....

No, of course the missionaries worship JC. And I'll accept that Wolfe is a
Christian, on Earth. But on Urth, he has done the very neat trick of
creating his own JC equivalent...an especially neat trick for a practicing
Christian (I speak as a heathen, as if you couldn't guess, but as a fairly
well-read and interested heathen).

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

First, they have to catch them.

(What is a "lasrach?" Once again, the OED fails me!)

> FWIW I also agree completely that, at least at some level, the 
> Outsider passages refer to Severian, who at this time is also the New
> Sun zooming towards Urth, who can manipulate Severian's Urthly body
> like a puppet from great distances. If we're seeking some kind of
> consistent explanation of how Severian is affecting affairs on the
> Long Sun, then I think that's probably it. The Increate in tBotNS
> isn't a personal god: there is a complicated hierarchy of beings who
> serve the Increate in the temporal universe. In no case does the
> Increate explicitly intervene in  human affairs, relying instead on
> the holy slaves to interact with humans. 

I'd have to sort the above out a bit, but viscerally and a little vaguely I
go along with it.

The aquastor theory is mantis's. I'm of the Quetzal camp!

> 	This citation, and Silk's progressive realization that the 
> Outsider is the "God of gods", leads me to believe that no mere mortal 
> could take on the role of the Outsider. The Conciliator may have been 
> worshiped but was not truly divine.

I don't see how you can say that Severian is a mere mortal. Everything
about him is progressively supernatural, he performs miraculous healings,
is tested as a god, saves the Urth itself, walks the corridors of time,
breathes water, convenes with angels, has his soul linked to a star--hey,
what more do you want?

Tusk: (funny derivation <g>)
Excellent questions, and *not* hashed to death! Welcome, and I hope someone
can answer them. I can't! But the BVM is a not entirely polite way of
referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

mantis, I can't believe you didn't ask him about Pike's ghost!!!!!!


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