(urth) Predictions Re: The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

Marc Aramini marcaramini at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 1 11:14:01 PDT 2012

--- On Wed, 8/1/12, DAVID STOCKHOFF <dstockhoff at verizon.net> wrote: (I think it was David, the formatting is a little off here)

Of course, in order to reach a conclusion that Wolfe was playing specifically with "right-wing loon"-ness, one must first agree that he came off a little "right-wing loon"-y. If you think he wasn't doing that, there is still that cast or quality to explain. I'm very inclined to agree with you, but at the same time it seems valid to wonder exactly how self-aware on this point a man in his 80s can be. 

Ultimately, there's plenty of room between raising that question and suggesting a conscious agenda. And I see no reflection on the man himself---he's probably way more together than Heinlein was in his later years. Gwern may choose to speak on that point, or not. 

In fact, the question tends to weaken the suggestion of an agenda, which I find quite un-Wolfe-like. Much more likely that he was not trying to be loon-y at all, in his own mind, just playing along in his provocative way. But people do get set in their mental pathways with age, and maybe these moments of candor can be revealing. As a frinstance, my dad is also in his eighties and still very liberal in outlook, but even he passes along silly emails that reflect a certain, er, something. (No, setting fires out West would not be a clever way for a terrorist to create terror. It would require a lot of work by a lot of people and they'd get caught. And so on.)
I think for a religious conservative he is remarkably open minded in personal correspondence, all things considered, and ageism (however that's spelled) really shouldn't be an issue when we talk about Wolfe.  (Though I have feared that when I approach my 80s the innate tyrannical facism I have hidden and suppressed from everyone around me will come boiling out, if I live that long)

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