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From: David Wells <adw@ovum.com>
Subject: (whorl) Zany Outsider theory
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 9:14:00 +0000

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

While we were waiting for Exodus to be published, one of my colleagues 
suggested an idea about the identity of the Outsider which is very different 
from the "conventional" one most often discussed here. His argument went 
like this:
     1) What is the most salient feature of the Outsider? That he is 
"outside" Mainframe.
     2) What does the Outsider _do_? He enlightens Silk, which leads him on 
a path towards fulfilling the Plan of... Hmmm...
     3) Which of the Gods is "outside" mainframe and, presumably, trying his 
best to get back in and fulfil his Plan..?
This idea also adds another level to Silk's disillusionment with the false 
religion he has hitherto followed. He abandons Pas' satirical idolotary to 
worship the True God, the Outsider, only to later discover... Oops! Testing 
times for any would-be messiah figure!
You could argue that it's said that the Outsider pre-dates the Whorl and 
created Mankind. But this is just a rumour, and just the sort of rumour you 
might expect that old monomaniac Typhon to put about...
Finally, I think it's amusing that this extremely bleak reading was 
suggested to me, an atheist, by a keen amateur Catholic theologian.

David W

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