(urth) 9 Ways to Read GW by Neil Gaiman
deluca22 at tcnj.edu
Fri Mar 2 14:02:16 PST 2007
How to read Gene Wolfe:
1) Trust the text implicitly. The answers are in there.
2) Do not trust the text farther than you can throw it, if that far.
It's tricksy and desperate stuff, and it may go off in your hand at
3) Reread. It's better the second time. It will be even better the
third time. And anyway, the books will subtly reshape themselves
while you are away from them.Peace really was a gentle Midwestern
memoir the first time I read it. It only became a horror novel on the
second or the third reading.
4) There are wolves in there, prowling behind the words. Sometimes
they come out in the pages. Sometimes they wait until you close the
book. The musky wolf-smell can sometimes be masked by the aromatic
scent of rosemary. Understand, these are not today-wolves, slinking
grayly in packs through deserted places. These are the dire-wolves of
old, huge and solitary wolves that could stand their ground against
5) Reading Gene Wolfe is dangerous work. It's a knife-throwing act,
and like all good knife-throwing acts, you may lose fingers, toes,
earlobes or eyes in the process. Gene doesn't mind. Gene is throwing
6) Make yourself comfortable. Pour a pot of tea. Hang up a DO NOT
DISTURB Sign. Start at Page One.
7) There are two kinds of clever writer. The ones that point out how
clever they are, and the ones who see no need to point out how clever
they are. Gene Wolfe is of the second kind, and the intelligence is
less important than the tale. He is not smart to make you feel
stupid. He is smart to make you smart as well.
8) He was there. He saw it happen. He knows whose reflection they saw
in the mirror that night.
9) Be willing to learn.
- Neil Gaiman
More information about the Urth