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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Positive thoughts, negative thoughts
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 09:56:47 

Nutria wrote:

>         Wolfe's writing may be so complex, and so dependent on the tropes of SF,
> that he will never make it into a "canon." It is hard to imagine non-SF
> people reading it and thinking much of it, save that it is "weird and
> well-written, but what on earth is he talking about?"
>         Anybody have anything more positive to put out against such a negative
> thought?

Cheer up, Nutria! I gave Fifth Head to my Dad, who's read plenty of SF but only of the Asimov\Clarke\Heinlein
variety, and he was wowed.

I gave TBOTNS to my better half, Emma, who has read no SF at all, and she was blown away.

I myself first read TBOTNS when I was a spotty, callow teenager who'd read one Vance book, no Borges and an awful lot
of the sort of SF that Wolfe's writing -isn't- based on. I was hooked for life.

The message is, you don't need to be well-read in SF, or any genre before you can appreciate Wolfe. You just need an
open mind, and to know good writing when you see it. That's why I believe that if we could only force mainstream
critics to actually read a little Wolfe, at gunpoint, they might come around to our viewpoint. The only people who
will never come over to our side are the ones who are already reading SF.

I still treasure a quote from Wendy Bradley's review of Castleview in, sadly, Interzone. The gist of it was: "this
book made me feel stupid, and I don't like feeling stupid."

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

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