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From: Ouroboros <ottofaij@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) mankind
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 09:24:09 

Ori wrote:
>>>>"...why are we so content to stop [with the
"official" meaning of the author]and not continue
digging behind *that* false facade of angels and
devils to get at what the book might be saying perhaps
even in spite of itself?"<<<<<

Because we don't need Wolfe's work to do that. We can
just write our own books to investigate those
questions. Not a bad recommendation, but the reason
this list is so active is because Wolfe intentionally
put so many real live puzzles, flourishes, and "Easter
eggs" in his work. And because as we originally read
the story we recognized that stimuli was flooding over
us faster than we could comprehend it and now we're
still trying to comprehend it.

It's cool that you can read TBOTNS without caring what
the author was getting at. I bet you listen to
"American Pie" and Bob Dylan songs and Beatles songs
without ever stopping to wonder what the writers were
actually trying to say. Undoubtably, when someone
tells you a joke you ask him not to finish it so you 
can make up your own punch-lines. Nothing wrong with
that, but you don't need anyone else to do that.
Myself, I side with Carlton Greene when he said,
"...the fact that many of the explanations...are
shadowy, unclear, or apparently paradoxical given
current scientific understanding does not mean that we
as readers are not intended to, and should not,
understand that some rational explanation lies lurking
in the background." I think Wolfe put together a
really good story that I'm amazed hangs together so
well. I want to look close and see how it's put

Speaking of which, Severian's relationship with women
has always been the most devilishly confounding to me.
Joturna, Valeria, Apheta, The House of Azure, Doras,
Katherine, the Witches, even Jolenta. Who are these
people to Severian? What is the significance of what
happens between him and them? Answer those questions
(I've always felt) an you'll understand what the heck
is going on in this story.

Of course, rather than vainly trying to figure this
out, you could do something valuable like make up your
own answers to these questions.


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

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