(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Wed Mar 18 09:06:23 PDT 2009

Well, very few criminal shootings are from a distance or with a rifle (same thing). So it's always going to be point-blank shootings (of strangers or not) vs stabbings or beatings (of strangers or not). Stabbings are usually motivated by rage, because you get the victim's blood all over you. You can casually shoot the storekeeper because he looked at you funny, or shoot him in a panic because you lost your nerve.

I'd like to actually mention a Gene Wolfe story. The Ziggurat from Strange Travelers always seemed to me to contain a healthy chunk of Wolfean psychology/politics. The protagonist hunts, lives alone, harbors some anger against women, and has to deal with aliens killing his son. If anyone has a point to prove about Wolfe and guns, look there.


Message: 10
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 11:30:17 -0400
From: John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
	<93d4039f0903180830v56189c7fga2a36a216a22a3d2 at mail.gmail.com>
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On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 11:24 AM, David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net>wrote:

> > I generally agree with you. But it is known that guns make IMPERSONAL
> > killing easier and therefore, under the right conditions (the conditions
> > being of greater importance) more common across the same situations.
> > You'll have fewer gratuitous shootings of mugging victims after they have
> > handed over their wallets, for example. So it is a factor.
> >
While I don't doubt that guns can make killing more impersonal, I'm not so
sure that your example is well-chosen.  Point-blank gun killings, like
gratuitious killings of mugging victims, are probably not especially
impersonall.  Having talked to people who've killed with guns at point blank
range (soldiers), it's my impression that the experience is pretty

Then again, I expect a soldier is typically using something a little bit
more destructive than the typical mugger, so I might be wrong.

> >
> > ------------------------------

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