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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) let it be, let it be
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 14:26:09 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

At 07:50 AM 4/16/97 -0000, you wrote:
>Like Castleview! The first time that I read this book, I remember 
>thinking that reading each chapter was like watching an episode of Twin 
>Peaks. You had no idea what just happened, or what was just about to 
>happen. The second time through, I thought that I had a handle on it, up 
>until the final scene in front of the castle. Can someone enlighten me, 
>considering that I don't know much more of the Arthurian mythos than does 

	I think Castleview is "about" perception. The various houses, castles,
spaceships, etc. may all be the same thing (the Winnebago). The "wild ride"
is perceived differently by various people. Etc.
	I don't "get" the details at the end either, but remember that we are ALL
descended from Arthur -- something easy to prove, and a point Wolfe made to
me -- so that all the men are Arthurs, all the women Morganas, etc. Again:
perception and role-playing.

>And how about Peace? I've read the book several times without penetrating 
>past the notion that it's more or less a collection of short stories 
>which are in some way tied to the memories/fantasies of the dead or dying 
>central character, sort of like Bradbury's Illustrated Man. What am I 

	All I know are: (a) Weer is definitely dead; the falling tree disturbs his
grave; and (b) the book is a series of fictionalized autobiographical
reflections over Wolfe's own life. I did discuss Peace with Gene in my
interview on Duggan's website.
	Oh, and "The Changeling" (in Gene Wolfe's Book of Days) is set in the same
world as Peace (same town; same ghost story aspects) -- but I've never
figured it out. 

>Well, I can't help but throw one question/observation out about Urth of 
>the New Sun. The writing style of this books starts out dramatically 
>different than the four which precede it. Has anyone noticed this, or 
>thought why? At first I thought that it was just less polished by Wolfe, 
>but now I wonder. A different author? Severian 1, or Severian 2?  Any 
>thoughts on this one?

	I account for it as a Severian ten years older. That is plenty of time for
a man's style to change quite dramatically, especially after ten years of
being a sedate monarch. 

Nutria (Jim Jordan)

P.S. Should we carry our Whorl nicknames over onto this Urthine list?

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