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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) counter-Stuff
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 97 22:07:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #8250075 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET#

Dear Mr. Jordan,

Please call me mantis (or Michael if that's too silly).  Yes, people
keep telling me there are mistakes in LEXICON URTHUS--that's what the
updates are all about: people write to me by snail or e-mail and the
next thing they know they are caught like flies in the amber of
another update.

Re: obtaining "Foundation #66" in the USA.  I have no idea--maybe one
of the mail-order booksellers?  The best bet, if you live near a
university library, is to go there and see if they carry it.  (While
at the library, also look up essays on Wolfe by Manlove, John Clute,
and Joan Gordon!) "Foundation" c/o New Worlds, 71-72 Charing Cross Road,
London WC2H 0AA, ENGLAND (price $8).

Re: "crummy stuff out there."  If we apply Sturgeon's Law, then 90%
of anything is "crum," including 90% of the essays written about
Wolfe's work.  Maybe I'm being too selective in my reading (seems to
me I read anything I can find! <g>), but I find it difficult to locate
this 90%--from my perspective, there isn't very much out there, and
most of it is really very good!

(I think that most of your questions about FIFTH HEAD are covered in
an essay in Clute's STROKES.  But before you read that, double-check
with yourself to make sure you =really= want to give up on your own
investigations, because Clute will give you some answers that may
haunt you.)  (Maybe not.)

Do you really mean to winnow out the crummy stuff in a pre-emptive
strike?  Refute the errors in logic and reading evident in a critical
essay before the essay has been written?  If so, then forgive me my
scepticism, but I can't see how it will work.

We are not arguing here--we are both speaking (well, writing) from
experience.  It has been my experience over the last six years
that trying to get to the root of the negative response (rather than
the positive) when talking about matters Wolfean generally doesn't work,
for the (ultimately diplomatic) reason that people are entitled to
their own opinion.  (So call me cassandra or chicken little?)

The best, most economical way to find an essay that you can agree
with whole-heartedly is, alas, to write it yourself.  And in the
"rising tide lifts all boats" analogy, as it is published and read,
this essay will inspire others to write their own, in favor or

But yes, it takes courage to expose your mind to such scrutiny--mainly
it takes the labor of getting the thing written!  Then published!  And
then, then!

(Go ahead and mention the stories you have questions about and I'll
tell you if I have them on my "current play list" or otherwise have
anything to say about them.  If protean R wants to keep the topic
clean of such clutter, we can always try e-mail.)

(Interesting--"Urth-Man Extraordinary" has listings for "Miesel" as an
anthology editor at Baen for A SEPARATE STAR and HEADS TO THE STORM,
both of which, naturally, have Wolfe stories.  The only Afterword for
FIFTH HEAD I can find is by Pamela Sargent, but this was in Ace
editions only.  Could you give bibliographic info on your edition?)


Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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