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From: William Ansley <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Mopsa the Fairy
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 23:24:25 

>An anthology recently appeared edited by Martin H. Greenberg entitled
>"My Favorite Fantasy Story" (published by Daw) in which a selection of
>prominent fantasy authors were each asked to "pick the one fantasy story
>that spoke to them, touched them, made them reexamine the genre in a new
>light."  Wolfe was one of the authors included, and his choice was
>"Mopsa the Fairy," a nineteenth-century children's story--really a short
>novel--by Jean Ingelow.  Among the things that Wolfe says about the
>story in his brief introduction is that "Ingelow dared answer a question
>that no other such writer has even dared ask: If there really were a
>fairy princess, what would she be like?"

I find this a very odd thing for Gene Wolfe to say, considering it is 
a certainty (based on the evidence of "The Eyeflash Miracles") that 
Wolfe read Baum's Oz books. Ozma is nothing if she is not Baum's idea 
of what a "real" fairy princess would be like. She may not be a 
terribly *inspired* fairy princess, but she is definitely a fairy 

I suppose it all depends on what Gene Wolfe means by 'really' in "if 
there really were a fairy princess". Based on my (mostly failed) 
attempts to understand his fiction, I must admit I have no idea how I 
would go about trying to understand his reality.

William Ansley

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

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