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From: douge@nti.com (Doug Eigsti)
Subject: Re: (whorl) re: narrative viewpoint in Long Sun
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 06:33:27 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

> >From: Peter Cash <cash@convex.convex.com>
> >Subject: (whorl) narrative viewpoint in Long Sun
> >Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 14:44:22 
> >
> >
> >[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]
> >
> >One thing I found really frustrating with the end of Exodus was the
> >revelation that this has been Horn's narrative all along. This
> >revelation came as a complete surprise to me, and I couldn't help but
> >feel that it was a trick Wolfe sprung so that he could end the Book of
> >the Long Sun when he did. After all, if he narrows down the narrator's
> >perspective, then he can't be blamed for not filling us in on details
> >like what became of Silk--Horn just doesn't know. 
> >
> >I feel that writer really ought to drop some clues ahead of time about
> >this sort of thing. Did any of you notice any clues about Horn's role in
> >the earlier books? 
> >
> >Peter 
>         I don't have the book with me so I can't give you a page number,
> but Horn did give himself away earlier in Exodus.  Go back to the meeting
> where Silk agreed to surrender to Potto, just before he was captured.
> The line is something like "Then I walked in."
>         Nice little shock there.  It definitely put a different edge
> on the near-suicide scenes on the airship.  I'm not sure whether I'm
> playing tricks on myself or not (I'll have to read it again, and I
> can't wait), but it seemed that that Silk's talk with Horn had a unique
> tone to it.  A bit more depth, a little more confidence behind it than
> most of the others, which Horn had to recreate from guesswork, instinct,
> and what witnesses survived the end of the Whorl.
>         --adrian

	I have yet to find Horn giving his naration away but it is notable
that Horn is mentioned in the first paragraph of NIGHTSIDE. The only other
characters there are Silk and the strange doppelgangers Marble and Rose.
Wolfe is notorious for leaving only one clue to a mystery to be revealed
later. The relationship between Marble and Rose does not surface again in
the story until much later. Wolfe does nothing beyond that first paragraph
to encourage the reader to connect these two characters until one has
forgotten all, only to be reminded by the Torturer himself. Don't say I
never told you...
	I have heard this called the Loop-the-Lupine school of writing. 
Of which Wolfe is the founder and chief practitioner. Wolfe does not like
to insult the reader by giving multiple clues. The reader either learns to
love it or stops reading Wolfe. His books are written for multiple
readings, for the reader we will be ten years from now. Each time through
one of his books leaves me with a unique feeling of, as Steve Martin would
say, "vu-ja-de", that I've never done this before. I know the frustration
of missing key clues on the first pass, but I also know the joy of 
reading a Wolfe novel for the "first time" on the second iteration. 


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