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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) More Wolfe-isms
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 01:11:14 

I am now skipping around in my Gene Wolfe collections. One thing I've
noticed that happens to his characters frequently is that they must travel
without food or shelter and often with an injury. These characters then
usually worry about becoming too weak from hunger and cold (and their
injury, if they have one) to continue long enough to find food and shelter
(and medical attention).

Severian muses this way in the mountains and, I think, other places.
Cutthroat (who is pretty close to being a yaup) in "Tracking Song," thinks
along these lines more than once. In "Lukora" [1] Mierax Andros is
described after a long day hiking without food: "She was very tired by
then, and she knew that she was no longer so strong as she had been." I am
sure there are many, many other examples.

In light of this it amused me to find this passage in "Sweet Forest Maid"
[2]. (This seems to me to be rather a pointless tale, but I'm probably just
missing it.)

A man would have tried to carry enough food for three large meals a day.
Lenor took tea and matches and some hard baking chocolate, a box of dried
figs, sugar, and a small pan. She expected to lose weight, had fasted
before (although she called it dieting), and suffered no neurotic doubts
about her strength of today as compared to her strength of yesterday.

You can't get too irritated at Wolfe for his quirks when he pokes fun at
them himself.

[1] _Endangered Species_, TOR paperback, p. 356.
[2] ibid., pp. 371-372.

William Ansley

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

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