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From: James Jordan <jbjordan4@home.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Too literal on everything?
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 16:08:46 -0600

At 08:21 PM 1/2/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>Very interesting stuff about the Maternal paganism in Wolfe, Nutria.  Thanks
>for sharing your conversation with Wolfe.
>Hey Andy, when you say I'm being too literal, do you mean about all my word
>connections or just that Blue/Green time travel thing?  Severian doesn't seem
>to have any problem traveling through time.

         Yes, but that's only after he's travelled to the sub-heaven of 
Yesod, and died (again) and been brought back (again) on the Ship. Severian 
has a fairly unique gift and calling, to be the Conciliator, to be a kind 
of Christ-Apollo to Urth. (He's not Christ; that's the "theoanthropos" of 
ancient time.) I don't think we can transfer Severian's unique gifts, and 
especially those gifts as transformed through his deaths and resurrections, 
to other people in the Urth universe.
         BTW, does anyone else see a hint of *Perelandra* in Green? A 
"fallen Perelandra" perhaps? Lush and verdant and corrupt, and needing a 
"Ransom" to at least begin to set things right -- to go underground and 
fight "un-men" and remove the sewage? Of am I streaming my consciousness 
too much? If this guess is anywhere near the mark, perhaps the Neighbor 
really is a kind of "angel" to guide "Ransom/Horn" to do this initially 
redemptive work. The Neighbors want to redeem Green.

>I've just found it interesting how Wolfe can infuse
>repetitive words with associations that they normally do not have (for
>example, read The Book of the New Sun and look at how many times water and
>healing are mixed, as well as flooding and salvation -> it happens over and
>over and over ad nauseum. Obviously, salvation requires a big flood -> and 
>didn't really have to read Urth of the New Sun to make that association)

         Well, as I'm sure you got, this is all reflections on the 
sacrament of Holy Baptism, beginning with Severian's initial baptismal 
drowning and resurrection. There are lots of reflections on the Holy 
Eucharist throughout also. And these were quite deliberate, as Gene 
affirmed to me.
         Severian's baptismal death and resurrection at the beginning 
simply foreshadows (and in-personates, since he is the "messiah" who walks 
the path before the rest of us) the baptism of Urth into Ushas at the end, 
and tells us how we should consider that flood.

Just a coupla thoughts.


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