(urth) The poor Aelf

thalassocrat at nym.hush.com thalassocrat at nym.hush.com
Sat Sep 29 00:36:59 PDT 2007

On Sat, 29 Sep 2007 08:15:56 +1000 "Roy C. Lackey" 
<rclackey at stic.net> wrote:
>Rostrum wrote:
>>But to take a completely different tack, maybe we need to 
>>this idea that the Aelf have no souls.  How do we know that?  Who 

>>them that?
>It was Able who delivered the info (WIZARD, p-46), but it seems to 

>be common
>knowledge. Its validity is apparently corroborated by Able's view 
>of Disiri
>while wearing the magic helmet. The Aelf are granted very long 
>natural lives
>in compensation.

Well, to be precise, Able only says that Aelf spirits are mortal, 
whereas human spirits are immortal. I guess it may be reasonable to 
assume that a mortal spirit doesn't count as a "soul", in the sense 
you intend, in this universe - but the point is debatable. 

I think one of the questions in the background for many of Wolfe's 
books is: "Where's Jesus & what difference will he make?". The 
heroes are sometimes kind of clunky Jesus-prototypes, dimly 
foreshadowing the real McCoy. Able's little personal salvation 
effort, driven by his personal little love, prefigures the 
salvation of all creatures which will be driven by all-embracing 
divine love - etc etc etc.

Why Jesus hasn't impinged on Mythgathr so far - dunno!

But something like that is IMO the only way of making sense of the 
entirely valid points you raise.

>> In the Sun books, Wolfe is constantly giving us robots,
>>animals, vampire leeches, etc. that people treat as soul-less, 
>>turn out to show evidence of a soul.  And in many of those cases, 

>>souls seem somehow derived from contact with human beings.  So 
>>the truth is that the Aelf have no souls if they are untethered 
>to the
>>human beings above them through whom they would derive a soul?
>This was discussed in the last quarter of '05. Disiri is the only 
>Aelf to
>receive a soul (if she did) we are shown in the text. Able's blood 

>to be the medium. Baki got Toug's blood, but I don't see that she 
>gained a
>soul by it. The only differences I can see are love and Able's 
>status as a
>god. If there is a rational explanation of this Aelf/soul 
>business, I think
>it has to be largely in that chapter four.

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