(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

Craig Brewer cnbrewer at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 19 07:22:42 PDT 2009

I'd agree with this non-ideological position. After all, Severian chooses monarchy as the highest form of government. Sure, that's got religious overtones, but he's also a savior-monarch himself. Typhon is another monarch who's "bad." So it's a non-ideological position on monarchy, just says that it needs to be the right person. That would suggest that it's not really distrust of government, just distrust of the wrong forms of government. Silk, as well, is both Calde and a failure at it. Horn, too, gives us a number of very ambiguous reflections on the need for and dangers of good governing in the fragile communities on Blue.

----- Original Message ----
From: David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net>
To: urth at lists.urth.net
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 9:18:29 AM
Subject: (urth)  The Politics Of Gene Wolfe


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>
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1

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.

avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 090318-0, 03/18/2009
Tested on: 3/19/2009 10:18:30 AM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2009 ALWIL Software.

Urth Mailing List
To post, write urth at urth.net
Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net


More information about the Urth mailing list