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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (whorl) re: Preferring the Given
Date: 28 Mar 2001 17:46:36 

Rostrum writes:

> As I was reading SS, it seemed to me that you could see Wolfe's writting
> as a sort of school for practicing this virtue.  He continually whets your
> appetite for something, makes you want the story to go in a certain
> direction, and if you cling to that desire you will be frustrated over and
> over.  But if you let go and let Wolfe take you where he will, you will
> see wonders.

Yes, this is an excellent point, and I think it's also true of the
things that some of us found annoying, such as the image of "astral
Oreb" as a tentacled hairy dwarf in IGJ.  I, and many others, read
this and found it pretty silly and out of place, and yet by the time
we get the explanation for this in RTTW, I found myself nodding and
agreeing that given Wolfe's seeming "astral travel model" the
depiction of Oreb was entirely consistent to that model.  This is just
one example.

> If you had told me after I finished OBW that instead of Horn, Sinew, and
> Krait trying (failing?) to love each other in the Amazing and Horrible
> Jungles of Green I was going to get astral travel and hardly anything
> about Horn and Sinew's relationship, I would have been very annoyed.  And
> I was a little sad not to see some of those things in IGJ, yet I thought
> IGJ was fantastic, and by the time I got to RTTW I was perfectly happy to
> see whatever Wolfe wanted to show me, and if that meant missing most of
> Hornsilk's trial so we can read about him chatting with Marrow's widow, I
> have to admit I still loved pretty much every page of it.

I'll agree with you there, though there are certain things about the
series, IGJ in particular that bother me such as Auk and Chenille
being reduced to less than a cameo appearance, but in general, I think
you're right on the money here.

Later, you also wrote:

From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>

> So perhaps I can be forgiven for feeling, when Horn mentioned how the kite
> builder told them stuff they put in their book, that Wolfe was talking
> directly to me, and, when Horn mentions it for the THIRD time, that
> Wolfe thinks my bulb is particuarly dim.
> (And there are at least a couple more comments Horn makes about getting
> information about Patera Q from time spent with him and from talking with
> Patera R that also seemed to be addressing the same issue.  Cringe.)
> "Thought you'd caught me out, eh?  Didn't think I'd properly thought out
> this whole narrator business?  Well let me explain every detail slow-ly
> and care-ful-ly."

Hey, don't be so hard on yourself.  And if Wolfe really was reacting
to you, I'd think you'd be flattered!  If anything, perhaps he was
being hard on himself.


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