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From: James Jordan <jbjordan4@home.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Fallible Narrators
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 09:14:14 

At 03:40 PM 6/10/2001 -0400, Rostrum wrote:

>I think part of what Wolfe is doing is this: If there are those who doubt
>someone so good as Silk could exist, or that he could really be
>enlightened by the Outsider, or that any god like the Outsider could
>really exist, then they are free to think that Horn embellished or was
>mistaken.  Perhaps Wolfe is being a gentleman; he doesn't insist that you
>accept the existence of God in order to enjoy his story.
>There is a sense in which telling a story from a third-person, omniscient
>viewpoint is cheating.

         Perhaps a slightly different take, which may be part of Wolfe's 
motivation. Silk is Christlike, but he's not Christ. TBLS is like the 
gospels, but it's not the gospels. Wolfe is a conservative Christian, so he 
believes the gospels as originally written were "inspired and infallible" 
and that they have been preserved accurately in the Church.  TBLS does not 
have these divine attributes. Thus:

Gospels : TBLS :: Jesus : Silk

         With TBSS we move one step farther away from infallibility. TBSS 
is not a second-order version of part of the Bible, but is the life of a 
saint. But again, from a Roman Catholic standpoint, there is always the 
question of what REALLY happened in the life of a saint. (Remember the 
controversy a few years ago when the Vatican began to question whether St. 
Nicholas ever really lived.) Thus, in the order of perfection and 

Gospels : TBLS : TBSS :: Jesus : Silk : Horn/Narrator(s)

         Maybe such considerations played no part in Wolfe's thinking, but 
they make a kind of sense, given what he has done in these two books.


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