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▶  More from Fiction Book Reviews Before the Rising Sun
‘Mighty is the Proud One’
Impressions of Chapter 21 of Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer Reading from pages 130-135 of Shadow & Claw
The Hut in the Jungle
Severian gets side-tracked examining a living history exhibit that would better be described as a living archeology display, as he enters a hut in which a savage Amazonian clearly sees him, as does the husband of an early 20th century missionary, a woman from Paris reading from Exodus to the man she is trying to bring to Christ, who insists that he can drive away the bad spirits afflicting them. The white man, who looks out the window at a bi-lane which Severian cannot really place as a practical conveyance, looks worriedly at Severian, seeing him as the missionary firmly set in her world view cannot.
As the man suggests that his wife’s savage pupil might have a point she suggests that he is ill, to which he says, “If I am ill, Marie, then the diseased know things that the well have overlooked.”
The fact that the visionary characters are male in this novel and that the materialistic, dead-thinking characters are female, reflects a very astute understanding of which half of humanity dreams. Only in a dead society, such as Western Civilization, would the feminine be regarded as the transcendental gender.
Diction of note
Fat Girl Dancing
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the world is our widow
black & pale
broken dance
when you're food
menthol rampage
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