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Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 15:54:09 -0500
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) Does Gene Wolfe read Cordwainer Smith?

Well, stylistically Smith is quite unlike Wolfe. So he may not really 
groove on him.


At 03:21 PM 9/9/2002, you wrote:
>Hartshorn and Nutria have been talking about Cordwainer Smith and the
>puzzling mystery of "How can Wolfe not know Smith's work?" and seeming
>convergent evolution between Wolfe and Smith.
>I don't want to rain on the parade here, but I have a new card to lay on
>the table.
>I, too, was puzzled by this strange Smith-gap in Gene Wolfe's reading, so a
>few years ago I went so far as to send him an old paperback collection (in
>mint condition!) of Smith stories (fwiw it contained my favorite: "Alpha
>Ralpha Boulevard").  He never said a word about it, by which I believe that
>he did not much like it and did not read more than a fraction of it.
>If it had been something that he enjoyed as much as he enjoys Tolkien, or
>even as much as he enjoys Dodie Smith's (ah, another _Smith_!) I CAPTURE
>THE CASTLE, he would tell people . . . at WorldCon he told me about I
>CAPTURE THE CASTLE (but I already knew he had it, heh-heh) and he mentioned
>it to the audience at least one time when he was on a panel at WorldCon.
>(Trivia: Dodie Smith is most famous for 101 DALMATIONS.)
>So there is, I believe, a strong likelihood that he doesn't really enjoy
>Cordwainer Smith.  As odd as that might seem to us.  I readily admit I've
>never asked him point-blank, so if anyone would like to do that at a
>convention, feel free to do so.


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