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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: is Weer's biography knowable? (long)
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 11:17:48 

Michael Straight wrote:

> I'm somewhat interested in finding out what Wolfe meant, but only as one
> of various means to the end of helping me get the most enjoyment out of
> his books.  (This ain't law or scripture - I'm not reading Wolfe to try to
> figure out what exactly two contracted parties had agreed to or to figure
> out how God wants me to live - this is just for fun!)  So, for me, the
> best reading of PEACE is the one that I find most aesthetically
> satisfying.  Coherence is an important part of that, but I'm not above
> setting aside this or that bit of evidence if it means I can better enjoy
> the whole.

Without reopening the question of intent (which I may get around to
posting on one of these days) I'll say that PEACE, to me, presents
itself as having been carefully planned out by Wolfe so that its details
and apparent anomalies are part of a conscious design; that is, Wolfe
did nt write it in a slapdash fashion or by letting his inspiration
carry him where it listed.  If this is correct, then (unless Wolfe was
guilty of a monumental lapse of judgment) it is very unlikely that any
"accidentally present" reading I could discern would be more satisfying
than the reading Wolfe intended.  If PEACE were to turn out not to have
been carefully planned in this sense, then I believe I would think less
of it: many details which appear significant would in fact be random or
careless, and the book would be parading under false pretenses.  (Not
that I think carefully planned out books are always better; my remarks
are specific to PEACE.)


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

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