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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: RE: (whorl) Copperhead
Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 10:15:17 

> Other good Wolfe Short Shorts:

> "A Solar Labyrinth," "Westwind," "How the Whip Came Back," "Peritonitis,"
> "The War Beneath the Tree," "Useful Phrases" (actually Wolfe's translation
> of a Borges short story, but still good).  I also like the one that's in
> Peace, the tall-tale about the cat and the big ship, and I also love the
> little story about the sidhe at the end of Peace; some people also seem to
> like "Suzanne Delage" more than I do.

Oolp -- well, if you're going to go that long (I have trouble thinking
of a couple of these as "short shorts") don't neglect "The Detective of
Dreams," my single favorite Lupine text, _period_. OTOH, I would regard 
about half the ones you name as essentially conceits ("Peritonitis," 
"The Whip") or bits of fluff ("War Beneath," maybe "Useful Phrases").

My first reaction to "Copperhead" was roughly equivalent to my first 
reaction to several other Lupine shorts, notably the ever-present 
"Suzanne Delage": "Huh?" 

I'm not ashamed to say that I Don't Get It, and (unusual for me with 
Wolfe) I'm not at all convinced that "it"'s there _to_ get. there's  
bunch of stuff at the beginning that isn't followed up at all; I have 
no idea why the woman with the strange voice from another dimension 
behaves as she does; and the ending vaguely-out-of-Genesis simply 
doesn't follow from the story in any way I can perceive. I suspect 
the whole thing of being to some extent a venting of spleen at 
Wm Jefferson Clinton, who doubtless has it coming, but would probably
not have a clue that spleen had been vented at him.


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