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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) SS Stuff on a Monday
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 01:44:53 

Well, I haven't got much to say on this other than to direct your attention to:


> GW: The adventurous reader has probably already moved past
> realism. I realize that sounds like a smart remark, but I mean past
> the kind of fiction that is called "realism" as a literary genre,
> and that's what it is: a literary genre. It is archtypically the
> story about the college professor who is married to the other
> college professor.

> Did you read Ursula K. LeGuin's novel, The Dispossessed? It was
> about the college professor who's married to a college professor,
> only science fiction, and this planet is Russia and this planet is
> the United States. When I read it I was so disappointed. I'd had a
> dozen people tell me how wonderful it was.

> Q: Yeah, I heard that too. Then I read it. 

> GW: I've read that book before; I've read it as realism many a
> time. It's a John Updike kind of book. I've read that story so many
> times ... now I read a book until I can recognize the story, and
> say, "This is what it is," and that's as far as it goes, since I
> have no urge to finish it. I'm long past feeling so guilty that I
> have to finish everything I start. I don't finish ninety percent of
> what I start.

> Look, the reason someone should go past that sort of realism is that
> it is narrow, stultifying and ultimately false.

I'll add that I agree with Wolfe about THE DISPOSSESSED.  It plus THE
LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS stands as my examplar of how even when the prose
quality is uniformly excellent, a writer can vary wildly in quality.

Also, I still like Short Sun despite remaining clueless about the many
apparent red herrings it introduces.  The emotional impact didn't feel
forced or as if he were tired of the series to me--although it did
feel as if Silk/Horn was tired of writing.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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