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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Smith & Vance
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 14:15:56 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]


	Oh, yeah. Wolfe loves Vance. He told me nothing of Vance's should ever go
out of print. Probably an exaggeration.

	I agree regarding perspective re: Dune and Norstrilia. But the
similarities are superficially striking. The story of a young (super-)man's
coming of age. Extension of life from always-dying sheep (Christian symbol)
or sandworms (potentially symbol of evil, but not in Herbert, I think).
That's all I had in mind.

	Well, back to Wolfe!

Nutria the Rat

At 03:32 AM 3/18/97 GMT, you wrote:
>[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]
>Reply:  Item #4788907 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#
>OTOH we know (from interviews as well as Wolfe-written articles) that Gene
>Wolfe read and deeply admired Jack Vance's THE DYING EARTH.  And most
>readers, I think, will sense a certain similarity in writing styles
>between Vance and Wolfe: high style, macabre humor, cultural
>anthropology, etc.
>Yet (and maybe this is just me, I don't know) Wolfe's work in spirit
>and in tone is actually much closer to Cordwainer Smith's work than
>it is to Vance's.  Part of this is probably [hedgeword] due to the
>fact that nearly all of the time [hedge] Vance is lambasting Religion
>as a controlling tool used by the dominant minority over the gullible
>population.  Vance belongs to a tradition of anti-religion genre
>writers going back to Edgar Rice Burroughs and before.  (He is also a
>satirist of the arbitrary conventions found in every society.)
>So the paradox: TBOTNS is said to be (and understood to be) a
>descendant of Vance's THE DYING EARTH (and Clark Ashton Smith's
>"Zothique," but I don't want to argue about that at the moment <g>),
>yet in reality TBOTNS is more like Cordwainer Smith's work, =even
>though= nobody is claiming that Wolfe ever read such.
>(Personally I see a lot of difference between Herbert's work and
>Cordwainer Smith's work: in soundbyte terms, because Herbert is
>working out Machiavellian themes and Smith is working out Christian
>themes.  [Now, I am aware that there is a reading of DUNE that sees it
>as a wonderful affirmation of Islam--not to detract from those who
>believe this, still I remain sceptical, due to the Machiavellian
>focus of much of Herbert's work.])
>Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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