(urth) Long Review Essay on Wizard Knight

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Tue Sep 18 21:03:23 PDT 2007

First of all -- congratulations, Stephen! Such efforts are few and far
between and too often get too little recognition. I liked the first
three-fourths or so of your essay. The last part is more personal political
rant than appropriate for a review, perhaps. I think that part detracts from
the rest of it; but then it was written for a blog. Still, bravo!

Stephen Frug wrote:
>Thus it's not answer to say that "perhaps something more complex is
>going on", or "Wolfe's narrators are sometimes unreliable": I think
>that you have to actually *argue* that in *this* case this is true
>*in ways relevant to my critiques*.  Either make the case here, or
>present a link to another case.
>I think this is true in all of the aspects of this argument.... but
>most especially in terms of a sentiment like "If you found the ethics
>to be problematic then perhaps the situations were intended to cause
>the reader to reflect on those problems.", where I not only made a
>textual case, but also pointed towards a lot of extra-textual
>evidence about Wolfe's views and intents.

Like you, I thought Able was an insufferable jerk, and said so a couple of
years ago here in a number of posts. It didn't go over any better then. I
pointed out even more instances than the captain's cabin bit where Able
behaved very badly towards those who were ranked below knights in the social
pecking order. Able never suffers any negative consequences for that
behavior. The only times Able is made to suffer sanctions is when he offends
someone of higher rank. And you are right that Wolfe, in TWK, does not seem
to find fault with this system. I also called attention to Wolfe's Tolkien
essay "The Best Introduction to the Mountains", wherein Wolfe seems to
endorse the medieval social order.

Maybe we are both wrong on these points, but I have yet to see the proof.

Btw, it is "Able" not "Abel". You might want to fix that on your blog.

Again, congratulations!.


More information about the Urth mailing list