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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) holy alga-rhythm!
Date: Tue,  9 Sep 97 21:30:00 GMT

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


Of course I like the creative ambiguity of Wolfe's work, too.  I
mean, I actually enjoy looking at how in a certain reading Severian
is closer to an Anti-Christ than he is to a Christ.  That one (well
this one at least) can easily entertain such a thought shows the
degree of ambiguity at work.  ("So, you intend this court to believe
that you honestly mistook the Prince of Light for the Prince of Peace?"
"Well, it was a dark room and I didn't have my glasses on . . . ")

And Nutria wants somebody from the "Gnostic camp," as it were, to
explain to him how the Gnostic interpretation of THE BOOK OF THE NEW
SUN (which Nutria says he himself originally took to be the
primary/privileged/whatever-you-wanna-call-it reading) holds up in
light of the non-Gnostic, i.e., Catholic (in the subsets where
Catholicism and Gnosticism have no intersection) reading which Nutria
now believes to be the primary reading of the text.

If I may be so bold, I think that Nutria is very interested in how
Gene Wolfe can be writing such material that seems so utterly non- or
even almost anti-Catholic, yet this material turns out to be, under
certain readings or interpretations, to be quite Catholic after all.
(Unfortunately, as interesting as I myself find it to be, this sort of
debate quickly becomes thorny and theological!)

(If alga could read Wright's essays then maybe she would be
interested in arguing their point to Nutria--now =that= would be

As for the author's interpretation of the art.  We went through some
of this before around here--I believe it was Talon who wrote that we
shouldn't let Gene Wolfe's opinions alone divorce us from our
favorite pet theories.  I understand the notion and applaud it to a
certain degree, but speaking for myself (the only person I'm
nominally qualified to speak for) I do tend to give some weight to the
author's opinion.  Not god-like weight, no; maybe just twice as much
as I'd give to a John Clute reading.

So what is my own reading like, an internalized consensus?  Sometimes
it is.  For example, alga had pinned me down and gotten me to admit
that Quetzal was certainly the vampire stalking Viron because he was
the only vampire in the text and there was a lot of circumstantial
evidence as well.  I didn't =like= it, it felt somehow off, I kept
watching for the slimmest of clues for other vampires, but I had to
admit that she was right.  Then Wolfe said there were others on
board, and I was able to reclaim my original reading (which I had
cravenly supressed? <g>) while still admitting that alga was right.

In the other direction, I still find it hard to believe that the
Marble/Mint merger was just the two typos Wolfe says it was.  Even though
I don't know what a Marble/Mint merger would mean, let alone how it
could be done!

Not that I want to bring either the vampires or the Marble/Mint
issues back up for discussion at this time--I don't!  Just to show
how I myself have dealt with them in my own muddied reading.


No, to the best of my knowledge Amazon.com does not sell magazines.
Chris Drumm is a mail order bookseller specializing in genre material
and he does carry magazines, especially small press.  (He =does=
carry some issues of NYRSF--catalog No. 106 lists: 17, 18, 19, 25,
47, and 74.  How about "Foundation"?  Doesn't look like it.) He has been
working on a web-page for some time now.  In the meantime, phone/fax
515-984-6749; e-mail cdrummbks@aol.com.


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