(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Ross Arlen Tieken ross.a.tieken at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 10:04:59 PDT 2013

Oh and thanks for the Latin--I was translating backwards from the  
English, I don't have a copy of the Vulgate, unfortunately.

On Apr 8, 2013, at 11:57 AM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:

> Rose:
> Some wonderful insights, with which I would pick but two nits:
> The feast in the forest is specifically a _perversion_ of the  
> Eucharist, which Severian by his nature purifies (this is why his  
> "copy" of Thecla's memories is more powerful than is usual for these  
> feasts -- indeed she seems to be resurrected in him).
> And second, Jesus' last words in John (second-to-last by Tradition:  
> we Catholics have a traditional view of the Seven Words from the  
> Cross, and say that His very last words were "Father, into Your  
> hands I commend my spirit") were not "Summatum est" but "Consummatum  
> est," it is completed.
> --Dan'l
> On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Ross Arlen Tieken <ross.a.tieken at gmail.com 
> > wrote:
> You're more than welcome!
> I would study good 'ol Julius, but he's doing something different  
> with occultism by incorporating a strange un-Hindu Hinduism a la  
> Blavatsky.
> Also, talk about career suicide. I'm already skirting sudden death  
> by studying anyone who was involved with nationalism... or  
> Catholicism which is almost as bad to the post-modern academy. Evola  
> would be a highway to hell in a handbag.
> I also personally do not share his worldview and social critique  
> although I recognize its power. I think too much self-reflexive  
> occultism & esotericism is not a good thing; Orthodoxy is esoteric  
> enough without pulling arcane antics. Again, Pound didn't see that-- 
> Eliot certainly did, and so did the Catholic liturgical theologian  
> Odo Casel. You should check out The Mystery of Christian Worship.
> If I didn't know better, I'd say Wolfe had read Casel--that  
> Severian, when he takes Thecla's body and the Autarch's body, is  
> participating in the Christian Eucharist, along with Horn/Silk when  
> he sacrifices at the Altar of the Neighbors in On Green's Jungles  
> (of bread and wine?! Could you be any more clear, Gene?).
> Wolfe has said that Severian "is a Christian," not an allegorical  
> Christ figure. But it seems that Severian is so Christ-like... a  
> savior, he carries a cross (Terminus Est; in English "It is the  
> end." Christ's last words: Summatum Est "It is finished" [John  
> 19:30]). But Severian, if he is a Christian (according to Odo Casel,  
> Gregory Dix, and other orthodox Catholic Eucharistic theology), he  
> is a member of Christ's mystical body! This, I think could help us  
> understand Wolfe's assertion: Christ only came once, but His  
> mystical body lasts for all time. Wolfe accidentally (or not  
> accidentally, I can't decide which) engages with an ancient  
> understanding of Christian worship constantly throughout the Solar  
> Cycle. I actually don't see how it's possible to understand the  
> Solar Cycle without looking at Wolfe's Catholic Modernist bent.
> But anyway, Evola's not playing the same card game. Or at least ,  
> he's got some cards up his sleeve from a different deck.
> Also, don't steal this without attributing me, please. I'm sharing  
> this with y'all because this mailing list is such a wonderful idea.  
> I'm writing something about this as we speak--and I'll give y'all a  
> link when I'm finished.
> R
> Ross Arlen Tieken
> Religious Studies
> Rice University
> On Apr 8, 2013, at 9:57 AM, António Pedro Marques wrote:
>> No dia 06/04/2013, às 00:36, Ross Arlen Tieken <ross.a.tieken at gmail.com 
>> > escreveu:
>>> When I spoke of the Catholic modernists, I should have been more  
>>> precise. The modernists all have weird spiritual proclivities.  
>>> Eliot wasn't technically a Catholic either. I should have  
>>> clarified what I meant: They all have a mystical bent, believe in  
>>> strong authority, and are inspired by myth, myths, and mythic  
>>> worldviews, and the middle ages. This leads to the accusation of  
>>> fascism (correct in Pound's case, dubious in Eliot and Tate's,  
>>> completely inappropriate in the case of Tolkien and Lewis) and to  
>>> the strong stroke of nationalism and ethnic myth-making in these  
>>> authors. Wolfe definitely shares these preoccupations. See http://www.thenightland.co.uk/MYWEB/wolfemountains.html 
>>> ; an essay on the importance of Tolkien which begins with the  
>>> sentence "There is one very real sense in which the Dark Ages were  
>>> the brightest of times, and it is this: that they were times of  
>>> defined and definite duties and freedoms." In this, he echoes a  
>>> Chestertonian defense of the Middle Ages and Catholic  
>>> civilization. I also see in Wolfe an implicit defense of Neo- 
>>> Feudalism and a strongly relgion-centric worldview.
>>> Pound was a bad fascist; he didn't understand that it depended  
>>> upon the same assumptions that modernity did, and paid the price  
>>> for it--he failed to see the 'real' problem on which his  
>>> contemporaries easily picked up; not just any mythos is good  
>>> enough, there has to be real sticking power and it has to based in  
>>> some kind of transcendent truth/experience and allow also for the  
>>> intuitive human good. Fascism of course fails utterly at providing  
>>> this, but Tolkien & Eliot's strong ethnic (non-racial)  
>>> Traditionalism and mystical monarchism worked fine.
>> Interesting. Do you analyze Evola as well?
>>> This is what I'm writing on for my dissertation, and I thought  
>>> about including Wolfe although he's a little out of the time  
>>> period. It's coming back though, these mystical traditional neo- 
>>> feudal myth-making monarchist distributist Catholic artists.
>>> On Dan'l Danehy-Oakes note: Distributism is the Catholic economic  
>>> theory; Marxism's assumptions about "the way stuff works" are  
>>> absolutely not compatible with the Catholic vision of humanity-- 
>>> nor is fascism, or hyper-capitalism for that matter. Both depend  
>>> on a pseudo-scientific reading of humans--Catholics sort of aren't  
>>> up for that.
>> Precisely (whether one admits to the pseudo or not, which I do of  
>> course).
>>> Distributism (championed by Chesterton and Belloc, later by Eliot  
>>> and the Southern Agrarians in America) fulfills the requirements  
>>> of Catholic anthropology while seeking to correct the culture- 
>>> killing nature of transnational corporate capitalism. Look it up,  
>>> tell me what you think.
>>> Also, Wolfe is probably aware of Distributism and is a Catholic in  
>>> good standing with the Church. http://ironicalcoincidings.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/inheriting-tolkien-pt-2-gene-wolfe/
>> Thank you for the link.
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> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
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Ross Arlen Tieken
Religious Studies
Rice University
ross.a.tieken at gmail.com
(361) 407-0100

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