(urth) Quotable Wolfe

maru dubshinki marudubshinki at gmail.com
Fri May 19 20:27:49 PDT 2006

On 5/19/06, Kieran Mullen <kieran at ou.edu> wrote:
>  One thing I love about Wolfe is his prose. His choice of words,
> their cadence, their compact power. OTOH, I can't think of many quotes
> off the top of my head. I am not sure Wolfe *is* quotable. It's more
> the tapestry than the thread.
>  Do people have:
>  Favorite Severian quotes?
>  Favorite Wolfe quotes?
> I do have some favorite quotes, but they're from short stories. I'll
> have to get my copy of "Endangered Species" instead of trying to cobble
> them from memory.
> Kieran

Well, I always was struck by one quote from Shadow of the Torturer: as
a matter of fact, I first came to Wolfe when I was a kid, and I was
casually browsing the first chapters of this odd looking book, and I
read this:

"We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us;
we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When
soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with
the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their
acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they
are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the
management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound
mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced
by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased
and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith
in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things
act of themselves or not at all."
The Shadow of the Torturer, Gene Wolfe.

(Thanks to Lupine Nuncio
(http://mysite.verizon.net/~vze2tmhh/wolfeblog.html) for providing a


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