(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 10 07:01:14 PDT 2013

>Marc Aramini: I have always maintained it is the transformation of vegetable matter to blood 
>quite literally, the watchers behind silk being the vanished gods, the trees, who will eat of 
>flesh and be transformed into something between vegetable and flesh.  This is why the hyacinth 
>flower is so symbolically important as well at the end - the future is the convergence of blood 
>to flower and fruit to blood.

I agree that the plant-animal connection of the Eucharist is an important Wolfean theme which 
ties religious symbolism to naturalistic themes. Perhaps because I am not catholic, I get the 
impression Wolfe is not quite content with the tranformation and feels something further or
more advanced is in our future.

I am struck by a couple vegetarian advocacies in BotNS (Severian musing on it as an ideal as he
descends the cliff and also the concept of The Green Man). The higher beings in the Sun series 
such as the hierodules and hierarchs would not seem to be meat-eaters and The Neighbors seem to demonstrate an herbivorous, ungulate sort of nature.

I am also struck by the tendency toward vegetarianism for modern paganists, who worship mother 
nature and Great God Pan and the Green Man and other dionysian deities. Gene Wolfe has said
that he is not a traditional Catholic and I wonder, from allusions in his writing, whether he
might partially subscribe to some paganistic ideas. His statement that he considers the gods of
paganism to be real jibes with this idea. 		 	   		  

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