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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Wolfe's textual Catholicism
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 10:09:36 

On Sun, 25 Apr 1999, Nicholas Gevers wrote:

> In response to Ori Kowarsky's interesting and emphatic recent posting,
> denying any necessary religious reading of Wolfe's work:
> Certainly many different interpretations of Wolfe, religious or
> secular, are sustainable; but some difficulties arise with an
> insistently secular approach:
> 1) Wolfe's known Catholicism is ignored: the major flaw in Peter
> Wright's Wolfe articles.

Using the author's biography and alleged intent to interpret a novel can
be interesting, but I prefer interpretations that stand on their own
support from the text.  

You may end up dismissing some interesting questions if you assume that
because Wolfe is Catholic, Tzad is an angel and therefore a good guy. 

I really agreed with Alex's observation, that while the text of Wolfe's
books have me pretty convinced that Tzad is an angel, that the Outsider
really enlightened Silk, etc., I'm not absolutely sure. I can enjoy
thinking through a "secular" interpretation of the book.  And, for me, it
only ruins it if Wolfe says in an interview, "the Outsider is real."

So I think it's much more interesting to try reading through the book and
seeing if Ori's secular interpretation can be sustained (or if, as I
suspect, it leaves too much unexplained) than to just dismiss it by
saying, "Wolfe is Catholic."


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

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