(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Fri Mar 20 19:38:40 PDT 2009

Chapter 1 of Through the Looking Glass.

According to Peter Wright, there's a "reference" in that chapter to BotNS, but he doesn't say what it is. I assume it's simply the matter of Alice's travel through mirrors.

The King's notebook wrote this because Alice was holding the pencil and for some reason wished to make this observation. She's watching chessmen in the fireplace on the other side of the mirror.


Message: 5
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 20:02:55 -0500
From: Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
Message-ID: <49C43CBF.10003 at io.com>
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Matthew Groves wrote:

> > I've been puzzling over this passage in Claw, Jonas and Severian are
> > in the Antechamber and Jonas is wigging out.  I don't know the history
> > Jonas is talking about, and I wonder if it sheds any light on Wolfe's
> > views on monarchy and democracy.
> > 
> > "Hereditary rulers and hereditary subordinates, and all sorts of
> > strange officials. Lancers with long, white mustaches." For an instant
> > the ghost of his old humorous smile appeared. "The White Knight is
> > sliding down the poker. He balances very badly, as the King's notebook
> > told him."

The last bit references Lewis Carroll's _Through the Looking Glass_, 
which could be taken as a criticism of class society.

-- Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com < http://www.io.com/~jwilson > 

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