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From: "Thomas Jeenicke" <Thomas_Jeenicke@public.uni-hamburg.de>
Subject: (urth) Calvino, Wolfe and languages
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 17:01:18 +0100

Alex David Groce wrote (message dated 22 Feb 10:04:54):
>"If On a Winter's Night a Traveler" was translated into English by William
>Weaver ... If I recall, a genre science fiction pastiche is, unfortunately,
>among the half-begun books that it contains.

That ist right, but the fragments of books in "If On a Winter's Night a
Traveler" (certainly a better translation than my terrible try) are in my
opinion not, in the first line, examples of genres, rather they are
instances of themes, or topoi. Most fragments (e.g. the 5th one) can't be
attributed to a certain genre, but for all one can find a theme (in the case
of the 5th it would something like "brutal violence"). - Wolfe's works
altogether also can't be attributed to a certain genre - or it would be a
genre description so broad, that it would not be very useful. It is easier
to characterize Wolfe by the themes he returns to again and again (like
"memory" or "rebirth").
Back to the question if there is a influence of Calvino on Wolfe: To finally
settle this, one must know which of Calvino's books were when translated
into English (and I don't know that). Or can Wolfe speak (or at least
understand) Italian? It would generally be an interesting question  which
languages Wolfe is versed in. To speak a foreign languages is a cultural
influence which should not be underestimated.

Thanks to all who provided and provide information, to all who contribute to
this list (or the Whorl list) and who are patient with a newcomer to this
list whose skill in English is far from perfect!


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

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