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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) modernism
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:37:59 

At 01:40 PM 10/26/99 -0400, Alex wrote:

>Note that while Wolfe's way of combining these sources can be called
>(and especially his habit of reworking sources and altering the uses of a
>his literary techniques avoid most modernist experiments:  disjointedness,
>stream-of-consciousness, extremely incapacitated or mentally aberrant
>(when Wolfe's narrators say they are possibly insane or lying, it is not
>I think, to be something unusual, as some of the narrators in Faulkner
>_The Sound & The Fury_ or _As I Lay Dying_) who are meant to be difficult to
>parse, alien--rather, they are evincing Wolfe's idea that we are ALL, to some
>extent, mad and incapable of expressing the truths of our experience fully
>either because of misunderstanding our reluctance to accuse ourselves), or
>typographical experimentation. 

	I think Wolfe intends his characters to be Everyman and Everywoman. I
distinguish them because I think Wolfe wants to say that men and women are
quite different, and this is sometimes jarring in the light of the kind of
"unisex" traditions in our literature. At any rate, he's not showing us
weird or unique people, but "ordinary" people in extraordinary situations.

>(2) Genre sources

	Yes. Vance is clearly the major influence. Wolfe also refers to *The
Voyage to Arcturus* as an early influence on him. And E.R.Burroughs is
present in *Operation ARES.* (It would be nice if someone would publish
that entire book, which was cut down to 1/3 its original length for
publication, if only so we'd be able to trace Wolfe's development better.)


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

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