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Gene Wolfe News and Rumors Logged by Paul Duggan

Friday, August 08, 2003

Peter Wright's new book on Wolfe, Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader is available in the UK, and amazon lists it as forthcoming. The amazon.uk synopists is thus
This study of the fiction of Gene Wolfe, one of the most influential contemporary American science fiction writers, offers a major reinterpretation of Gene Wolfe's four-volume "The Book of the New Sun" and its sequel "The Urth of the New Sun". Eschewing the conventional spiritual reading of the novels, Peter Wright employs evolutionary theory to argue for a controversial secular reception of a narrative in which Wolfe plays an elaborate textual game with his reader. After exposing the concealed story at the heart of Wolfe's magnum opus, Wright adopts a variety of approaches to establish that Wolfe is the designer of an intricate textual labyrinth intended to extend his thematic preoccupations with subjectivity, the unreliability of memory, the manipulation of individuals by social and political systems, and the psychological potency of myth, faith and symbolism into the reading experience. Drawing evidence not only from the first 30 years of Wolfe's career but from sources as diverse as reception theory, palaeontology, the Rennaissance hermetic tradition, mythology and science fiction's sub-genre of dying earth literature, Wright provides an accessible interpretation of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun."
I'm not sure if I will find Wrights book-length treatment any more convincing than his essays.

posted by pduggie 1:11 PM | leave a comment |

Monday, August 04, 2003

The Hogblog was at Readercon, and heard Wolfe finally explain why so many mysteries lurk in his stories [scroll down 4th para].

posted by pduggie 8:59 AM | leave a comment |

Gene Wolfe News and Rumors Logged by Paul Duggan

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We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.
The Shadow of the Torturer, Gene Wolfe.


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