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Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 23:18:46 -0600
From: Charles Reed 
Subject: Re: (urth) Hyacinth Not A Boy

Just a couple of thoughts about "text-evidence" readers:

>Crush responds:
>That's an unambiguous answer? Well, maybe for Wolfe it is. Less so, I'd say,
>than "Urth is green," and you know how far that has gotten us. I've never
>spoken to Wolfe, but based on his answers to direct questions from this
>list, I recommend all beware of "unambiguous" answers from that Delphic
>As I said recently, I no longer hold to this theory for purely thematic
>reasons. However, IF I were **what some consider to be** a purely "text
>evidence" reader...
>(that is, to presume:
>o All characters are telling the truth
A "text evidence" reader would hold no such view if the text indicated 
that the character were lying or speaking something false out of ignorance.

>o No characters are wrong in observations
Same comment.  If the text shows that a character is wrong in his 
observations, then that's what it shows.  If there is no textual 
evidence for a character's observations being wrong, though, then the 
"text evidence" reader would accept such statements as true.  It's a 
generally positive view of humanity, I suppose, to believe what a 
character says until proven (proven by the text) otherwise, but I find 
that such an outlook serves me well.

>o All things are as they are presented
Now you're verging on slandering those of us who prefer to analyze the 
text on its own merits first and foremost.  We're very much aware that 
many things are not as they are presented, and that we must dig deep and 
think hard -- about the text -- to figure out what's really going on 
behind the "false presentation."   Just because we don't rush out to see 
how Wolfe's work aligns with Robert Graves or with some 
Greek/Egyptian/Whatever myth, that doesn't mean that we're lazy readers, 
or that we don't think deeply about what's going on.  It also doesn't 
mean that we're accepting of every bit of drivel that happens to come 
from the narrator's pen as God-ordained absolute truth.  You're painting 
with a recklessly broad brush, Crush, and I hope that you're at least 
mostly kidding.

>o Ignore extra-textual plot-lines regardless of how closely they may seem to
>follow the story unless the narrator says otherwise)
This is the only accurate "text-first" characterization that you've made.



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