(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Thu Mar 19 07:18:29 PDT 2009


Anyway, there is certainly much evidence for that position. What I find interesting is that his distrust of government is not ideological. That is, though in "Trust" he has dirty hippies revolting in a new civil war, he places little faith in the megacorporations who are trying to "preserve" the US. Of course, the US they are trying to preserve seems hardly worth preserving. It's already been privatized beyond recognition.

On the other hand, in The Eyeflash Miracles, he posits creepy totalitarianism involving universal retinal IDs and truly evil government agents. Whether it's totalitarian or fascist (not clear), the government clearly doesn't care about people. The person that the state IDs does not define or limit the true individual, who still has access to the divine.

In Free Live Free, the government seems more benevolent.


Message: 8
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 08:04:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: brunians at brunians.org
Subject: (urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe
To: "The Urth Mailing List" <urth at lists.urth.net>
Message-ID: <8974. at brunians.org>
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There's another aspect of Gene Wolfe's politics which is mentioned
prominently in many of his stories, and that is his intense distrust of
government. I assume that this is less controversial than his support of
an armed citizenry. I am still a bit nonplussed that anyone would question
that still, but no matter. I am well known to be an extremely ignorant
person, knowing almost nothing (and trying hard to un-learn that little

I'd like to solicit a discussion of this particular aspect of his work.
The last one was quite lively, and some people did get their feelings
hurt. Well, literary discussion is a tough business, and not meant for the
faint of heart. I hope that this discussion can be equally lively, but
perhaps less fraught with emotional trauma for some of the participants.

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