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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 13:52:12 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) case hartshorn/5HC

Hartshorn wrote:
>It happened to me.   On my first reading of 5HC as a young twentysomething I
>thought if a fine bit of writing but rather confused,  fragmentary plotwise.
>The depths bypassed me entirely.    It was not until I met other readers
>that the book was opened up for me.
>Mea cupla, mea maxima culpa: but it was Wolfe taught me that SF books
>*could* be like that.   Scratch that, it was Wolfe who taught me *books*
>could be like that.

Thank you for the example.  This must be a fairly common experience for
Wolfe-readers: the reader, through talking with other readers, through
reading lit crit from John Clute and others, begins to see things that
formerly escaped the eye.

OTOH, hartshorn, it does not seem from what you wrote that you initially
disliked 5HC.  It sounds more as if you liked it okay and then developed a
deeper understanding of it, which probably (but not necessarily) raised
your opinion of it.

I'm not certain, but it seems to me that many people use something like a
two-tiered track: the one tier is the like/dislike axis, running from love
to hate; the other tier is something like "respect," ranging from "lack of
respect" to "total respect."  Putting these tiers together results in odd
combinations that sound like what people often say about books: "guilty
pleasure" would be "like" + "low respect"; "grudging respect" would be
"dislike" + "high respect"; et cetera.


booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
Lexicon Urthus out of print!


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