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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: RE: (whorl) a personal tangent in praise of Gene
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 09:22:18 -0800


I agree completely with you about Wolfe and about the SS books: when the
list went through the immediate post-RttW spasm of discussion, I recall
commenting that the books were far too complex to dismiss, the way some
seemed to, without living and wrestling with them for at least a year or
two. I stand by that.

> ... remember how dead this list was until I started throwing out
> outrageous theories 

Well, it has been quiet lately, yes.

> I just don't think you can apply Occam's razor to a tricky dude like Gene
> Wolfe 

Well, here I agree and disagree. You can apply it _where appropriate_. The
real problem with the Principle of Parsimony is that it's misunderstood and
misused. It does _not_ state, as often misquoted, that the simplest 
explanation is the likeliest; it suggests that one's solutions should not
needlessly hypothesize "entities" not obviously present in the problem. I
think that principle _does_ apply - that is, our solutions to the problems 
GW's works present should not introduce any persons, planets, etc., not
clearly present in the works.

> He should have won a Hugo. Why did Harry Potter IV win? What the heck?! 

Frankly, I doubt GW will ever win a novel Hugo; the fan base that votes the 
award is demographically pretty broad and GW's fan base is, demographically,
pretty narrow. The time when "intellectual" novels could realistically win
the Hugo was pretty much over by the mid-'70s.

> I think  that it really bears very little in common with The Book of
> the Long Sun -> which was comparitively open and honest even though
> they were trapped inside the whorl.  Outside the whorl, in the vastness
> of space, there is no openness: even the narrator does't realize who he
> is, Hoof doesn't recognize his own father in Babbie even though he
> treats him so obviously like a son, and we  cannot recognize our own
> home because we have forgotten science.  

I like this. I don't think I can go with Blue/Green == Urth/Lune, but
your point about the relative openness/closedness of the two Books is
very well put.


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