(urth) Long Review Essay on Wizard Knight

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Wed Sep 19 05:00:24 PDT 2007

On Wed, 19 Sep 2007 20:46:27 +1000 brunians at brunians.org wrote:
>You know, it's all very well to despise the martial virtues.
>But the fact is that without them, you don't get to have any other 

>What idiot said 'Violence solves no problems'? Violence solves 
>problems, historically, and if it's mostly hidden away violence in 

>society all that means is that people get to pretend that it isn't 

>and indulge in fatuity.

I think a common theme in Wolfe has to do with the balance between 
the virtues of Aphrodite and Ares. They are, I think, his prime 
virtues, but an imbalance is a distortion. Aphrodite without Ares 
is ineffectual; Ares without Aphrodite is unjust.

Silk: too much Aphrodite, not enough Ares, until his joinder with 

Able: too much Ares, not enough Aphrodite, until his ersatz love 
for Dsiri transmutes into the real thing, and expands beyond her.

I think TWK is quite clearly a critique of the ideal of chivalry to 
the extent it has strayed from its (purported but anyway ...) 
theoretical purpose of protecting the weak from oppression & become 
just an idealogy buttressing a parasitical, closed, warrior elite.

When Able meets Uns and Duns, their mother (I think - don't have 
book here) briefly sketches the origins of knighthood. The men got 
together to protect people from ogres, giants and dragons. Somebody 
who did well at this was honored as a "knight". By the end of 
Wizard, Able has restored this original conception. 

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