(urth) The Wizard

Marc Aramini marcaramini at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 27 13:46:33 PST 2012

Pretty sure that most low god is lying - it is improper worship which is the problem, kind of like a Pilgrim's Progress morality.  People worshipping those lower in the chain are messing up the natural order, but with the right frame of mind those below can be lifted up, maybe.  So this guy is the lowest of the low, people are his gods, but he is trying to trick them into worshipping him.  He is not connected to the most high, but it is in his best interests to get worship from those above.

--- On Mon, 2/27/12, Daniel Petersen <danielottojackpetersen at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Daniel Petersen <danielottojackpetersen at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) The Wizard
To: "The Urth Mailing List" <urth at lists.urth.net>
Date: Monday, February 27, 2012, 10:36 AM

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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