(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

brunians at brunians.org brunians at brunians.org
Wed Mar 18 09:19:50 PDT 2009

Or that one with the near-future woods bum who needs a new hunting rifle
and goes on a reality show that puts tv cameras in his head and a
$100,000, which the Feds want, of course. He has a bit of a head start and
has to find his black market weapons dealer and get back away to the woods
with the cops after him.

I think that one is pretty explicit. I love the very last bit: classic Wolfe.


> 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>
> Message-ID:
> 	<93d4039f0903180830v56189c7fga2a36a216a22a3d2 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> 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
> harrowing.
> 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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