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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Concerning Severian's Lacunae; also, "Later, dudes"
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 00:06:11 

>                          tell us about Severian?  Other quirks
>> in his narration have been explained by his allegedly perfect
>> memory, but I don't see how that would account for this.
>Actually, it's pretty easy to attribute it (within story context;
>outside story context, it's Wolfe's delight in torturing the reader

Somewhere in TBotNS there is a passage where Severian compares the
relationship between torturers and their clients to that of men to women
and authors to their readers. (Maybe I am combining two separate passages.)

I won't touch the men vs. women thing (though I don't buy it totally; just
call me naive) but I don't think that, in general, the author vs. reader
thing holds up. A good many authors, at least among those who write for a
living, must be very anxious to please their readers, so they will keep on
buying their books. Perhaps the ones with "artistic integrity" don't care
if anyone reads them, but I don't think they are trying to drive people
away, in most cases. (Of course I realize that torture may attract as well
as repel, at least for the sake of argument.)

I also realize that just because Wolfe has Severian say something, it
doesn't means Wolfe himself holds it as a truth. (He has elsewhere referred
to readers as masters to the authors' slaves.) But in the case of author
vs. reader I do think it is true (or much more true than usual) in the case
of Wolfe vs. us. As evidence, just look at this list.

The fact the we keep coming back for more may say something about us, but
it definitely attests to Wolfe's skill. He is definitely a grand master.

William Ansley

P.S. If anyone can think of a way I could have qualified my statements
above even *more* that I actually did, please let me know.

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

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