(urth) The Wizard

Daniel Petersen danielottojackpetersen at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 10:36:28 PST 2012

It's been some years, but for what it's worth, the world struck me as more
Gnostic - which, as I understand it, is about the opposite of a 'most high
and most low are really the same' sort of reality structure (i.e. in
Gnosticism, the farther away, the farther 'down' the chain of existence, a
being is from the originating 'Creator' the less real they are - thus
matter is basically 'evil' and 'salvation' is an escape/return into pure
spirit - as opposite from matter as is possible).  I didn't detect any
Judeo-Christian element except for the (pretty amazing) appearance of
Michael the Archangel.  Indeed, Wolfe professed in an interview to be
explicitly trying to write a world that had no Christianity.  If it was
Gnostic-based at all, I would suspect Wolfe of being fairly devious and
subversive about this - showing how it 'doesn't work' to some degree (as
with the closed-system religion of The Whorl in Long Sun).  Then again,
he's always kept me guessing about his relation to Gnosticism - there's a
fairly blatant exposition of it at one point in Peace.  I never can tell
what he's doing with that.


On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM, Antonin Scriabin
<kierkegaurdian at gmail.com>wrote:

> After taking a several month break after *The Knight*, I finally got
> around to reading *The Wizard*.  I liked it better than the first
> installment overall, but the shift to third-person narration for some of
> the Jotunland scenes didn't work very well, in my opinion.  This duology
> was definitely one of the more confusing and tricky Wolfe series that I
> have read, since so little is known about the world Able finds himself in
> (at least, the worlds other than Aelfrice, Mythgarthyr and Skai).  It was
> also confusing because it is such a hodge-podge of mythologies (Arthurian
> legend, Norse gods and goddess, Judeo-Christian, etc.).  Anyways, I was
> wondering if anyone thought the universe in these books really is
> "cyclical"; i.e., The Most High God and the most low god are indeed the
> same being, and that the highest and lowest worlds are the same.  Reading
> that portion was one of those Wolfe moments where I have to put the book
> down for an hour or so, and come back later.  My first thought is that the
> most low god was simply trying to deceive Able, and that the worlds are not
> the same.  I was also wondering what happened to Mani ... he seemed to
> disappear about half-way through the narrative and none of the characters
> seem to notice (unless I missed it completely).  Finally, has anyone picked
> out connections between *The Wizard Knight* and *Castleview*?  They both
> involve people from modern day America getting entangled with a world that
> is a blend of Arthurian legend and Norse mythology, and I would be very
> surprised if there wasn't some subtle link between the two works.
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