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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) re: No lie?
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 17:58:11 +0000

Roy C. Lackey wrote:

> Of the instances that I cited, more than one of them are cases where the
> statements which are elsewhere contradicted are--literally--parenthetical
> comments, which need not have been made at all. The fact that they occur at
> all, as well as the way in which they are made, lead me to believe that
> Wolfe went out of his way to make them, that they are not mistakes on his
> part.
Well, that can be argued either way. You can just as easily
say (and I do) that the parenthetical nature of the
contradictions shows that GW wasn't thinking too hard when
he wrote them. He's on the umpteenth rewrite, he adds a few
little insights, rewords a couple of weak-looking
paragraphs, and because he's Severian's creator, not
Severian, he makes a few mistakes. It's all too easy, as
anyone will know who's ever had cause to regret inserting
what seemed at the time a brilliant last-minute argument
into an essay five minutes before deadline.

Nobody, not even GW, is perfect. Once you start milling down
any work of literature as finely as we do, you're going to
find ugly, illusion-shattering errors. Lady Macbeth: did she
have children or didn't she? Robinson Crusoe: swims naked to
the wreck, fills his pockets with useful stuff. Dr John
Watson or Dr James Watson?

I would be more convinced by the Severian forgets\lies to us
theory if the contradictions were -less- parenthetical.

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

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