(urth) Wolfe being clear on 5HoC

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 7 19:30:40 PDT 2006

Tony writes:

>we should be able to solve the conventional mysteries of a Wolfe story from 
>the story alone. What >Wolfe says in an interview may be very illuminating, 
>but if you have to *rely* on it to prove your >theory about a story, then 
>you've failed to understand that story. And if you don't
>have to rely on it, then it's not key information.

I spy a difference in perspective and I think I've bumped into this 
difference  before (correct me if I'm wrong Tony).  Perhaps it boils down to 
some combination of subjective and objective.

Some appreciators of art find the interaction between artist and audience to 
be a sacred thing.  I can appreciate this perspective since I am more like 
that with music.  I'm not highly interested in all the outside influences 
that might have inspired a musician (especially in jazz) to play a certain 
note at at certain time.  The song is exactly as it is played, and will thus 
be enjoyed or not by me.  External context is not so important.

With literature, for me, it is different. Words, unlike notes, are 
judgeable.  I feel comfortable being critical, saying "Wolfe made this story 
too ambiguous with the text alone."  I need to know Wolfe's background, 
influences, thinking patterns to feel I might grasp his intended meaning. In 
fact, with Wolfe I also need the help of other readers to grasp it.  For me, 
with Wolfe, all the extra stuff is "key information". Essential.  I could 
even say that someone who ignores outside evidence or pver-elevates the 
basic text fails to understand the story.

But I can respect anyone who prefers the sanctity of the words and the 
sacred bond that forms between reader and author when someone reads a story. 
  Who undertands a cat better, a scientist who has dissected every square 
millimeter and done exhaustive biochemical and neurological 
testing....or...the long time owner of a cat?


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