'How could the Outsider have chosen such a bungler? ...When had he ever offered a single sacrifice, however small, to the Outsider? Never! Not one in his entire life. Yet the Outsider had extended infinite credit to him... Certainly he would never be able to repay the Outsider for the knowledge and the honor, no matter how hard or how long he tried.' (Gene Wolfe, Nightside The Long Sun)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Creatures Are All We Know, And Can Be All We Know Until We Know Him

Morcaine asks Able:

‘“Do you credit a Most High God?’

‘The question caught me by surprise. I said, “Why of course,” stammering like the boy I pretended not to be.

‘“I do and I don’t.” She smiled, and the smile became her laugh. It was music, but I never ached to hear it again as I did Disiri’s. Even then, I thought her less than human, and that laugh was at the root of my opinion.

‘“I don’t and do.” She cocked her head like a bird.

‘I bowed again. “Just so, My Lady. We can think only of creatures, of things He’s made. Creatures are all we know, and can be all we know until we know Him. When we think of Him like that, we find we can’t believe. He can’t be like a creature any more than a carpenter is like a table.”

‘She nodded. “Wisely spoken. When I see how the world goes, I know there cannot be a Most High God. And yet that fiendish humor! …’

[And there the conversation moves completely away from this subject as far as I can tell.]

(Gene Wolfe, The Wizard Knight)

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