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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) The Wolfe Library
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 99 05:49:00 GMT

Lest we forget, PALE FIRE contains a haunting (near-death?) vision of
a white fountain . . . and when the artist at last meets another
person who has had this vision, he warms up with wonder that another
human being has seen it, the fountain is somehow a real thing, and
then she murmers that it is like Mont Blanc, which seems like a
non sequitur, until she says ah, the white mountain!  And within him
the ediface of a shared mystical experience comes crashing down.


If I'd read PALE FIRE before I'd written the Lexicon, I probably
wouldn't have written the Lexicon at all--the horrible humor of
seeing something beautiful (in that case it was poetry) butchered by
a highly-inventive-yet-obviously-wrong reading.  Well!  Ignorance is

Re: the Essential Wolfe Library.  Hard to say--boiled down to five or
six titles sounds more like the "quintessential" Wolfe Library!  Have
to include the Bible, clearly.  Here's another application where what
would come in handy would be a list of every book he has ever
mentioned in interviews (so often they ask him about influencial
authors and books!) and in articles.  (I've got the start of such a
list somewhere around, which is why I keep bringing it up, I
suppose.  Half-started lists, like a splinter in a hand.)

That Vance entry looks to be dead-on: in talking to him and
corresponding with him I get the impression that Gene Wolfe has read a
lot of Vance, and what we know of his reading habits (re: Chesterton,
for example) we can assume he read everything at one point, but the
only title he has ever mentioned in public is that one: THE DYING


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

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