(urth) Seawrack and the Mother

Craig Brewer cnbrewer at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 3 21:08:42 PDT 2012

Yeah, it's a common trope, but it helps me grind my Milton/Wolfe axe...at least in my head.

As for the higher/lower, Wizard Knight is the main idea. But Briah/Yesod fit something along those lines. Honestly, it's Milton's monism that makes me find the most compelling connection to Wolfe. I've always wondered if there's a "theory" of fantasy/magic/supernatural/spiritual in Wolfe that is something like the monism Milton outlines in _Christian Doctrine_. The way Milton describes it, the moral character of a material body affects its spiritual capacity, which is an interesting way to explain the odd supernaturalism of Severian, say, or the Claw, which are "magical" but only in ambiguous ways.

That's the kernel, at least. I haven't actually thought it through.

 From: DAVID STOCKHOFF <dstockhoff at verizon.net>
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net> 
Sent: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: (urth) Seawrack and the Mother

Spirit (mind) is usually said to animate or organize matter (body). This makes spirit active (light) and matter passive (dark), which usually translates to male and female principles, for obvious reasons involving agriculture as well as animal husbandry, never mind the convenience of having both a sun and a moon to illustrate them. So the two sexes are very useful as concepts for ordering the universe. (You have to wonder how a sentient species without sexes would view the universe. Again, I can only think of the Elder Ones . . . ugh.)

Wolfe has a lot of beings inhabiting other bodies. But he resists the archaic, sexist implications, in that his "vessels" are always full and complete characters, though he does tend to make the genders of rider and mount match---not always.

I can't think of any other particular examples of "above" organizing "below," except perhaps in Wizard/Knight.

> From: Craig Brewer <cnbrewer at yahoo.com>
>To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net> 
>Sent: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 10:45 AM
>Subject: Re: (urth) Seawrack and the Mother
>Speaking of Milton, in the creation story of PL, chaos/matter/nature are always feminine. God implants order into the "womb of nature" as he says. It's a matter more of imagery rather than direct characterization, but still interesting.
>Don't know how/if that applies to Wolfe. I've always seen interesting analogies between Milton and Wolfe (levels of spirituality/sacredness, matter/spirit monism) but the
 theologies shouldn't map onto each other in the end for a variety of reasons.
>On Sep 30, 2012, at 12:12 PM, David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net> wrote:
>> On 9/30/2012 4:27 AM, Jeff Wilson wrote:
>>> On 9/23/2012 5:27 PM, David Stockhoff wrote:
>>>> It doesn't quite fit. I meant (1) two sexes (a) separate or (b)
>>>> combined, or (2) no sexes, but also pointing out that a single male or
>>>> female seeder/birther/creator isn't really any of those. That is, you
>>>> can't have only one sex. Incest is a bit like two-housed
>>>> hermaphroditism, from this perspective.
>>> I think you can have a single sexed creator if the created is the other sex.
>> How would that work, exactly?
>> ---If a female
 creator spawned (through parthenogenesis?) a male creation?
>> ---Or if a female creation developed from a sperm cell?
>> Parent-offspring incest would then follow. It's conceivable, but sounds deliberately perverse, like something Lovecraftian or Milton's Satan.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Urth Mailing List
>> To post, write urth at urth.net
>> Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net/
>Urth Mailing List
>To post, write urth at urth.net
>Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net
Urth Mailing List
To post, write urth at urth.net
Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.urth.net/pipermail/urth-urth.net/attachments/20121003/46b1e614/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Urth mailing list