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From: "Chris" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Baldanders, Acies Castle & the Citadel
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 18:46:23 +0000

Josh said:
>Thecla's friend asked if the Fish was real, Father Inire told
>her that for an image to exist without something to reflect
>it is an impossibility. Therefore, the Fish would come into
>being (I just now noticed that it is a Fish).

I always liked that, though it really reminds me something similar I read 
around the same time but cannot remember. I am tempted to say that it was 
something from Borges "Labyrinths", but I might be thinking that just 
because the subject of Borges is fresh.

>And at Baldander's
>castle, Dr. Talos asks Severian if he doesn't realize that
>events cast their shadow into the past, where they echo and re-echo:
>see now? The castle, the wise man and the monster?

Particularly interesting, given that Baldanders then slips into the water to 
join Abaia and the rest; the subsurface "monsters" being seen as events from 
the past (and presents that might-have-been) casting their shadow on the 

>BTW, I myself don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about
>Baldanders standing in for Delany. On this list we find all of the
>puzzles that Gene Wolfe put in his books, all of the puzzles that he
>didn't put there but are inherent either in the structure of the books
>or of Reality, all of the puzzles that exist only in our minds, and
>probably one or two that don't have any existence.

Well said.

One of the things about Wolfe which I'm curious about is that I would think 
he *has* to understand the way in which these puzzles multiply, beyond even 
what was intended (which is considerable in its own right). Yet in 
interviews he doesn't come across that way at all; I know it's been 
commented on before. I guess the general opinion is that he doesn't like to 
be asked over and over again for simple answers to impossible questions, and 
employs a sort of "ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer" defense.

On the other hand, it does seem a bit at times like he assumes that the text 
says nothing more than what he put in it, and that there is a correct 
reading intended which can be deductively arrived at.

If I had the chance to ask Wolfe one question, I would probably ask him 
about this rather than anything specific about his stories.

-- Civet

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