(urth) Predictions Re: The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

Ryan Dunn ryan at liftingfaces.com
Wed Aug 1 06:18:21 PDT 2012

On Aug 1, 2012, at 8:55 AM, David Stockhoff <dstockhoff at verizon.net> wrote:

>>> Sure, of course it was a lark. And yes, one could easily interpret each one as /half /true. Where does that get us?
>>> As clarification, I didn't mean Wolfe /intended/ to predict
>>> "what cranky, ill-informed old people will believe/fear/desire in 2012."
>>> And yet he succeeded---in my estimation, by /more than/ half. That must mean something.
>>> BTW, literacy paranoia has been in vogue in the US since at least the 1960s.
>> Since a few posters were giving varying amounts of weight to these predictions and letting it color their impression of him, the place my observation was hoping to get us was actually out of such a lofty critique of what I took to be a half joke blip of Mr. Wolfe's musings.
>> ...ryan
> Understood. But what's "lofty" about making an observation about the written word---or trying to make sense of another reader's observation?
> One could easily write whole books of criticism about the paranoid style in Gene Wolfe, and in dystopian SF in general (as someone has already noted). I don't know what they would conclude, but I'd be interested in reading them.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paranoid_Style_in_American_Politics


I was not inferring your critique was lofty, in case I gave you that impression. I was referring more to the earlier passion on this thread, and felt that we (as a collective of readers with a shared interest on a common mailing list) may have been taking his written word a bit seriously.

My point is that he seems to be a bit flippant, half smiling, and not all together serious in these predictions. So when someone takes "a great interest in predictions and what they reveal," for instance, I would hope that Mr. Wolfe's five fingered prediction would have revealed that he is indeed a sly, shifty, elusive prankster, even when portending to dole out 25 year predictions.

I got the vibe that it was not being interpreted with as light a hand as that, however. In fact, I got the impression they were used to support a feeling of disenchantment with him as a man, which may have gotten me riled a little bit. While he may write from an extreme, and detailed perspective on society, he does not seem at all to be a dystopian, right-wing loon who is increasingly using his prose to somehow push a conservative, anti-socialist agenda (which was also inferred on this and other threads recently).

Hope that clarifies my points on this matter a little bit better.


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