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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ifh.de>
Subject: Re: (urth) The Shadow of Aubrey Veil
Date: Tue, 09 Jun 1998 09:53:06 +0200

"Robert Borski" wrote:
> I call my analysis the Secret Shadow approach because I believe that while
> the novel's grand theme involves the search for identity, its central
> conceit is that no one is simply who he or she seems. 

I would say this is a very Wolfean theme altogether, or to put it
another way, torturers have shadows too.  (Readers of this list may
still dimly remember Wolfe wrote another series of novels under the title
`The Book of the New Sun'...)  Severian hides in his cloak and behind
his mask, Thecla for much of the time hides in Severian, Dorcas has been
temporally shifted, Jolenta --- 'nuff said, Talos and Baldanders fit
together differently from how it looks, the Autarch is in some sense his
ancestors too, the alzabo pretends to be little Severian's father...
the list goes on and on.  I think the difference is that in the Book
it's only one of the great universal strands.  On the other hand, is
there any first rate novel which does not involve the search for identity?
Wolfe's gift is in wrapping the inside and outside round one another, so
you don't know any more quite what identity means.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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