(urth) SRD on obscurity

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Wed Jun 14 11:01:49 PDT 2006

Now that we've all had the chance to play "bash the fantasy
writer (and fellow list members)," does anybody have any
thoughts on the original quote? To save y'all from having to
dig through week-old emails, here it is again:

"As a narrative artist, I face an incessant dilemma which
(I believe) plagues all artists in one form or another: I
suffer from a natural and understandable (and perhaps
inevitable) impulse to *leave out* anything that seems
perfectly obvious to me. At the same time, I expound
endlessly on anything that I find obscure or difficult. But
guess what? The things that are obvious to me are
seldom obvious to the reader. At the same time, readers
are quicker on the up-take than I am (because they read
so much more quickly than I write)."

I found Stanislaus's comment strangely apropos, by the

On 6/14/06, Stanislaus <sbocian at poczta.fm> wrote:
>  By the way- he, after reading "Shadow" and "Claw", prematurely
> accuses Wolfe of the same - that is,  that the Claw is merely a
> plot device. - Wolfe as usual made it  appear that way at first,
> later to explain that the Claw was essentially worthless in itself.

-- though I'd argue that in fact something that _seems_
tremendously important but is "essentially worthless in itself"
is almost a working definition of a plot device (especially the
variety of plot device known as a Maguffin).

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, writer, trainer, bon vivant

"One o'th'flay-rods gone out o'skew on th'treadle."

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