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From: James Jordan <jbjordan4@home.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Fallible Narrators and Even More Fallible
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 09:23:55 

I think you're basically right, save that as I wrote in a previous post, I 
think Wolfe intends the Silk narrative to be a kind of lesser version of 
the gospels, not equivalent to them.


Dan'l wrote in part

>Briefly, for non-[Catholic-Bible-scholars]: The basic idea the
>Catholic church endorses is that the Gospels were formed in
>three "layers":
>         1. The events that actually occurred in the greater
>            Jerusalem metropolitan area ca. 4 BC - 33 AD.
>         2. The memories of those events carried by eyewitnesses
>            and the communities founded by those eyewitnesses.
>         3. The setting-down of those memories by the communities,
>            probably late in the first century.
>The Catholic answers to questions like "Yeah, but how do we know
>it's true?" and "Well, what about the way they [seem to] conflict
>with each other?" are deeply entrenched in that model, but it
>gets pretty complicated at that point.
>Now, what I _think_ we have in Horn's "Book of Silk" is something
>similar: Horn was, admittedly, an eyewitness to some of these
>events -- a fairly small proportion of them. He's gone around
>interviewing people, filled in the details as best he can, and
>freely admits he made the rest up to complete the narrative. It
>isn't good historiography, but it suffices; it gives the sense
>of someone who isn't a historian doing the best he can. The made-
>up stuff, while perhaps not accurate, isn't a lie, in the sense
>of an untruth meant to deceive; it is intended to convey a sense
>of the probable truth.
>So we have all three stages compressed into one text:
>         1. We have Horn's own authentic(?) memories of Silk.
>         2. We have the community's memories of Silk.
>         3. The "Book of Silk" _as written by Horn & Nettle_
>            collecting and collating their own memories with
>            those of the community.
>Unfortunately, there's an implicit Stage 4, which is also
>implicit in the Catholic model:  The copyists get hold of
>the text, and a long time later, scholars try to trace the
>provenance of textual variants backwards and determine the
>"true" original text of Stage 3.

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