(urth) Quotable Wolfe

Bob Miller bob_bageera at hotmail.com
Sat May 20 03:30:03 PDT 2006

Did I miss it?  The one, and rare, to me is that scene in BOTNS where 
Severian found the bush of "Claws".  "...and I cast away my boots that I 
might not walk shod on sacred ground"

the "things" that stick to my memory of Wolfe's are those that have had a 
buildup.  The scene in THE WIZARD where Idnn tells Sirable that the wives of 
the Angrborn are her subjects and so she Will take care of them.  And then I 
wished I were not mounted, that I might kneel to her.

Thank you all for forcing me to codify my thoughts on this.

From: "maru dubshinki" <marudubshinki at gmail.com>
Reply-To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
To: "The Urth Mailing List" <urth at lists.urth.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Quotable Wolfe
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 23:27:49 -0400

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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