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From: Paul C Duggan <pduggan@world.std.com>
Subject: (urth) torturing readers
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 08:12:13 

> 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.
Whether Wolfe wants to torture us or not, Severian the writer IS a
torturer and if he thinks that that is the kind of relationship an author
has with his reader it's not suprising that he messes with our minds in
such a fashion.

And after his passing the test on Yesod, he becomes much more forthcoming.



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

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