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From: "Tony Ellis" 
Subject: Re: (urth) 5HC: Shadow Children in the Lupiverse?
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 19:58:59 +0100

Adam Stephanides wrote:
>If the only purpose of "A Story" is to tell us about the prehistoric
>colonizations and the Shadow Children's shield, then having it take up
>pages is a waste of space, whether it's true or not.

Why yes, it would be, but then I don't think that is the only purpose of  'A
Story'. It also serves to tell us a lot about Annese culture, among other
things, and on top of that it's a rattling good yarn in its own right. But
too great a proportion of it is taken up with the mystery of  where the
Annese came from and how they got here for me not take that element

This is also my problem with the perfectly valid point made by both Dan'l
and Michael Straight, that Wolfe uses stories within his bigger stories all
the time. My immediate response is "yes, but why _this_ story?" Why, out of
all the stories he could have written, write one that worries and worries
away so specifically at the idea of an ancient, star-faring race of humans?
It's not as if 'A Story' needs this subplot to be good fiction: take out the
Old Wise One's tales, or make him talk about something else, and you would
still have a fine Wolfean story-within-a-story.

Another issue is that ordinarily, Wolfean stories-within-stories only take
up a fraction of the larger narrative: the fact that they are not in the
same sense 'real' doesn't dilute that larger narrative. Writing 'A Story' as
fiction, however, leaves a proportionally far larger chunk of 5HC with only
an indirect and tenuous contribution to make to the whole. That doesn't feel
right to me.


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