don doggett kingwukong at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 29 16:22:09 PST 2006

--- Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <danldo at gmail.com> wrote:

> ...sigh, here we go again...
> Folks, the Ascians are _not_ speaking "a sort of
> Newspeak."
> They're speaking a parody of Chairman Mao Thought,
> the
> logical end-result of people running around quoting
> from the
> Little Red Book. The Ascians are a resuscitation of
> the
> "Yellow Peril" of the pulp stories Wolfe is
> generally revivifying
> in the New Sun books.
> Yes, I _know_ it's pronounced "uh-SHAY-yun" and I
> know
> what it's supposed to mean, but if you really
> believe that
> Wolfe didn't consciously intend us to think, at
> least glancingly,
> of "Asians," you're not giving him enough credit for
> deviosity
> or deviousness or whatever the nominal form of
> "devious" is
> supposed to be. Making it uh-SHAY-yuns is a way to
> dance
> around being called racist, in a book all full of
> hypostasized
> racial theories.

Well, that went right by me until now, big surprise. 
It brings up an interesting shadow of the Korean War,
don't you think?  Doubly interesting since GW fought
in that war.  Not that I'm saying it's an allegory,
just a strange impression.

As for Attending Daedalus, my problem with it is not
with Wright's interpretation of facts, but with his
conclusion as to Wolfe's ultimate meaning.  Severian
is a liar and he is probably being decieved by the
Hieros (I still have a strong feeling he is the
antichrist, a feeling made stronger by the appearance
of the "true" christ like figure in the sun cycle,
Silk) but to my mind Wolfe is not reenforcing a
humanist viewpoint, he is continually undermining it
by revealing its bleakness.  In addition, Wright
ignores the fact that the stories Severian tells work
on many more levels than just a repetition of the main
narrative.  In short, Wright's book has too narrow an
argument for too broad a book.


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