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From: "Ron Crown, St. Louis University" <crownrw@SLU.EDU>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v005.n022
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 09:32:01 

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

> While it may be a symbol of the Greek Orthodox Church, the gammadion as it
> appears in the Book of the Long Sun seems more reminiscent of the T symbol
> from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  In that book, the T of the Model T
> became the symbol of the state religion; the purely material becomes divine.
> The gammadion in Long Sun is just a set of screwdrivers that can be joined
> end to end for ease of storage; again the purely material becomes divine.
> In Brave New World I think it is a case of people having forgotten what the
> divine really is.  As for Long Sun, Comely Kypris herself says that the
> Chapter was set up as a parody of the state religion on Urth.

But the difference is that the T symbol was not originally part of a state
religion but becomes such as part of Huxley's ironic comment on the 
divinisation of the material (or vice versa?) while, assuming that there 
is some connection between our Earth (which may be assuming a lot) and 
the WHORL/URTH, a symbol which was originally religious continues to 
function in something of a quasi-religious or downgraded religious 
function.  Aren't priests the only ones who carry the gammadion?  For 
that matter, is anyone besides Silk mentioned as having one?  
Furthermore, the gammadion does function as a tool for working on the 
'Windows', the sources of 'revelation' whether you regard that revelation 
as true or false or (better I think) truth which conceals another truth?  
And I don't think that Wolfe uses language in a sort of simple 
equivalence such as gammadion = screwdriver and nothing more; after all, 
he could have invented some science fictinal gobbledygook for futuristic 
tools like they do on Star Trek (induced phase decoupler or some such 

> Is your question about secondary works related to a desire for an
> index of them or of obtaining the artifacts themselves?
> Both, obviously--but I mean, "Urth-Man Extraordinary" has a very good
> index.  You mentioned "Vector" and "early 80s"--I see listings for
> Vector #118 (2-84) and  #119 (4-84), as well as Vector #65 (5/6-73!).

mantis, thanks for reminding me of "Urth-Man Extraordinary"; I've
been meaning to buy a copy from Chris Drumm (who has all the Galactic 
Central bibs available, I think) but wasn't aware that it included 
secondary items as well.  Eventually, I'd like to obtain copies of the 
'artifacts' of course; but for right now I'm satisfied with bibliographic 
references.  As it happens, I've got all three of the Vector items you 

Ron Crown

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