(urth) Re: urth-urth.net Digest, Vol 5, Issue 16

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 11 15:01:47 PST 2005

>I can't say I agree - I would have found it just as jarring if Silk had
>started spouting off about women's rights to control reproduction, or
>how the government of Viron should provide for the poor or rein in the
>merchant class.  Unless the story is a political allegory (and maybe
>not even then) dropping blatantly late-20th-century political debates
>into such a novel does little to improve it.

Well, I'm more forgiving of this sort of thing. Characters are people and
people have political opinions. It would be difficult to avoid touching any
current political controversy if a writer wanted to and I can't imagine why
one would try. I might not agree with the political and social POV of
Atwood, Tiptree, or Morcock, but, well, they have each have one and that's
what you get.

In "Exodus", the political discussion wasn't thrown in willy-nilly. Silk is
responsible for reforming society in a just manner. He does so in a manner
that the author thinks is just.  What else could happen? (Note that his
decision on disarming Viron runs parallel to the choices the Coalition made
in Iraq what with letting each household keep and AK-47 <wincing as I
anticipate the OT flames>)

Wolfe can be subtle too. I wonder if you even noticed that government of
Dorp that the Narrator overthrows in "Return To The Whorl" is a tyranny of
the Judiciary that he accuses if taking "advantage of [the people's] good
qualities, and so the judges had to go; if I had not removed them, the
people themselves in  few years".  If that isn't an intentional contemporary
conservative political prophecy for America, then I don't know what is.

~ Crush

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