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From: Fantasma <cglst7+@pitt.edu>
Subject: (urth) The Wolfe Library
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 21:52:00 

Not to rudely change subject, but since we're in the constructive mood, a

I'm new to the list, and though I've reviewed the archives I don't think
that this question has been raised, which frankly stuns me. To wit: 

What is the Essential Gene Wolfe Library?

I realize that this is as much about authors (and readers, Wolfe is
quick to note) as books, but I'm interested in what people think about 
this and what level of authority is possible. From my limited experience
and perception, and straight from Wolfe's own mouth (or letter-writing
pen), I could think of five essentials, including other influential books
by the same author--

The Book of Imaginary Beings, Jorge Luis Borges (Ficciones, The Aleph and
Other Stories)
The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
The Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Friday,
Autobiography, Father Brown et al)
Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
Michaelmas, Algis Budrys (Rogue Moon, Who?)

This is all in addition to the reference section of our Library. The
Compact OED, principally, which has been repeatedly substituted for the
minds and careers of the people on this list (just playin', guys, just
playin'). A good encyclopedia (my favorite is the rare 11th edition of the
Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1910-1911). A good "Lives of the Saints" (the
Penguin dictionary is probably the most accurate). Mrs. Byrne's 
dictionary. *The New York Times' Guide to Misspelled, etc*. I'm sure that
people could supplement this with resources outside of language, which is
the only thing I am fairly familiar with. 

If people really think this is as interesting to establish as I do, then
there should be an illustrious, enigmatic approval committee, in which
case I hesitantly nominate myself as Chairman. No, really, you're too

				-A Slightly Apprehensive Fantasma

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

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