Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Fri Jan 27 23:38:43 PST 2006

Last spring I argued, largely with Adam Stephanides, in large part about the
role of the Hierogrammates in the Increate's designs for humanity. Simply
put, I contended that the Hierogrammates were doing the Increate's bidding
when they did whatever they did to or for Urth's sun, and therefore to that
branch of humanity affected by the coming of the New Sun. By "Increate" I
meant God, more specifically the Judeo-Christian God, as I believe the term
has been commonly understood, aka "Pancreator" and "Outsider".

Recently I received and read Peter Wright's _Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe,
Artifice and the Reader_. The book was written by 1999, but wasn't published
until 2003, so the SHORT SUN books were not discussed.

It is unfair to the author to summarize a whole book in a few lines, but it
seems to be his contention that the Hierogrammates were selfish manipulators
of humanity, that Severian was a hapless, rather foolish puppet, sans
divinity in his orchestrated role as Conciliator. He believes that Wolfe
wrote the Urth Cycle to be understood this way, that Wolfe played an
elaborate mind game with the reader, playing on reader expectations to
hoodwink the careless reader into believing otherwise. He even holds that
"Increate" doesn't refer to God; it refers to the Hieros.

Wright goes further, suggesting that the LONG SUN and SOLDIER series, and
even PANDORA, serve as "metafictional commentary" on the Urth Cycle. If
Wright is right, then I've been wrong. Surely others of you have read
ATTENDING DAEDALUS. Nigel? I would be interested in hearing other's


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