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Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 13:13:55 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: [urth] Why I don't like TBOTSS
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 5/25/02 4:04 PM, Allan Lloyd at allan-lloyd@lineone.net wrote:

> Adam,
>          Way back in the archives there is a post from me expressing deep
dissatisfaction with the Short Sun books, and because of this, I too have
not been taking much part in the discussion of the books.
Yes, I remembered that post.  I reread it the other day, and it's a good

> (I also find some discussions in this group lately to be speculating more and
more freely in trying to invent solutions that may fit the facts, but have
no textual support.)
Yes, this was another of the things that provoked me to articulate my
dissatisfaction.  Of course, people have done this with all Wolfe's works,
but the Short Sun books seem to particularly invite it.  Take, for example,
Pig's being a godling, which has been confirmed by Wolfe thanks to Nick
Gevers.  As far as I can tell, this is a completely arbitrary detail.  You
practically have to make up a story of your own to give it any meaning.
>     Certain stylistic habits are getting harder to bear. If I read one more
narrator telling me that there are three reasons why he is doing something,
but just happens to get sidetracked before he tells me all of them, or
starts to expain a major incident in the plot, but veers off with a
description of ways of growing cabbages, I may have to be restrained from
tearing pages from books.


> Too many narrators are children, or people who don't write very well, or are
not very intelligent, just as an excuse to obscure facts and with-hold
information that would normally be provided in the text. I find this a
contrived and unnatural way of creating puzzles.

 I don't think think the problem is the techniques Wolfe uses.  Unexplained
details, narrators who omit crucial information, pulp-SF elements: Wolfe has
used all these before, in many of his best works.   The difference is, as
you said in your original post, that here they don't convince.  In his
earlier works they served to deepen and enrich; here, as you say, they come
off as contrived and unnatural.



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