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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ibmth.df.unipi.it>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v019.n014
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 15:22:00 +0200

Kieran Mullen wrote:
>    I had hoped that Wolfe was a great writer.  From this mailing
> list he seems to be like one of those hack mystery writers who 
> have the butler just coincidentally be the father of Lord Billings
> *and* be the brother-in-law of the deceased.

I have to pipe up and admit that I have worries along these line.  The
great strength I find in Wolfe is the overarching themes and links
between them.  Having all the characters tie up in this narrow way
seems to reduce it to a certain extent to a family soap opera.
Severian's family certainly *should* be important somehow, I'm just a
bit worried about the way it's done.  Wolfe's in good company, though;
lots of major authors have links of this kind (Dickens is full of it,
although I take it none of his characters are their own ancestors),
but that doesn't make it `right'.

But that's a highly personal assessment, of course.  I'm entirely
convinced the links are really there, and it's fascinating to hear all
these things I never suspected.  Indeed, you could quite easily read
every word of the Book twice and not have the smallest idea what any
of these arguments were about.  (In fact, would somebody mind
sketching a brief family history of Valeria for those of us left
behind? ta.)

(craking at the corn)

Peter Stephenson <pws@ibmth.df.unipi.it>       Tel: +39 050 844536
WWW:  http://www.ifh.de/~pws/
Dipartimento di Fisica, Via Buonarotti 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy

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

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