john.watkins04 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 12:06:16 PDT 2009
I just remember another passage where Wolfe seems to explicitly endorse a
Thomistic theory of the soul...it's in Urth of the New Sun when Severian is
talking with the Hierodules about his various iterations. One of the
simplest ways of explaining it is to use the analogy of writing or music. A
song ("Let it Be," for example) is neither a particular performance of the
song nor the music and lyrics in their abstract--the former is like a body
and the latter is like a soul. Every time the soul (the music and lyrics)
are instantiated in a performance, then the song exists, but it is always
the same song as long as it is the same music and lyrics.
I believe a similar example is used to explain to Severian how he can be in
two places at once, and how, if he and another Sev get too close together,
they'll blend into one guy.
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <danldo at gmail.com>wrote:
> I think you're on the right track. However, I don't suppose Wolfe is
> proposing any
> specific answer to the question of what a soul is, let alone whether it can
> copied or not. Rather, I suggest that he's asking questions: "What if
> _this_ were
> possible; then where would the soul be?" and some of his novels are, among
> other things, attempts to explore those questions, though not necessarily
> _answer_ them as such.
> The best fiction raises questions but doesn't necessarily answer them.
> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
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