(urth) Clute review of PF in NYRSF

David Duffy David.Duffy at qimr.edu.au
Tue Feb 5 14:02:57 PST 2008

On Tue, 5 Feb 2008, David Duffy wrote:

> Has he reviewed it elsewhere?  It doesn't go too deeply into analysis
> (after all it is a review), though he mentions the possibility of 3rd or
> 4th iterations of Chris.

Actually, he doesn't mention further iterations and says the maze is 
unicursal ;)

OK.  This is in the NYRSF Jan issue, only one page.  Generally liked it, 
though found a bit Catholic ;)  "Angriest and most fun"

most amusing claim: "any character in any Wolfe novel whose emotional
response to any event is deeper than seems exactly appropriate is fairly
likely to be the protagonist of that novel in a guise we have not yet
encountered".  So, he implies that as he read it he was suspicious of 
i) Ignacio crying; 
ii) "We are almost dead certain" that on P 23-24, the man whose chicken is 
stolen is Chris [see P 310].

comparisons: Severian - tall and thin, seen as dark; excel in 
fighting; charismatic; repressed extreme emotions; attractive to 
(untrustworthy) women; torturers; God speaks to them directly; inhumanly 
acure moral judgements; write confessions.  It seems to me this equally 
applies to Latro and Able though.

difference: too certain in faith, "Savaranola-intense"

reason for confession: convince the reader that "life as a pirate [is] a 
good preparation for becoming a priest".  Well, self-justification anyway.

And ends:

"The reader may envy the sea-foam and clarity of that past, and would be 
there with him in a flash of trance, if given entry.  But the reader may 
also take [the] final sentence as a dreadful warning: Danger! We are the 
people. We are you."  Well you either like Clute's writing style or you 

Cheers, David Duffy.

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