(urth) fifth head owlet- wolf‏

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 11 13:37:12 PDT 2013

>Gerry Quinn: Well, I still see a problem with this. Perhaps the expression 'false 
>positive' is not greatly suited to literary criticism, but we can come up 
>with measures based on the net contribution of a given interpretation to the 
>complexity and coherence of a work. Does the interpretation make it a good 

I feel your pain, Gerry (I suspect Marc does also on the other side of the fence).
Are you familiar with the movie Annie Hall, where Woody Allen is able to pull
Marshall McLuhan from behind a movie poster to settle a debate about his work in
a theater queue.

Woody ends the scene by commenting, "If life was only like this!". But we all know 
it isn't.  Perhaps we suffer even more in the world of a tight-lipped author like
Gene Wolfe. You want "complexity and coherence" and a "good story" to be the 
criteria by which we judge fiction but there simply are no acknowledged, impartial 
judges of such qualities that I know of.

>5HOC is an SF story and should be interpreted in SF terms. And 'A Story' works in 
>SF terms, with an alien world and a mystery solved, better than it works in any other 

In my opinion there is the horror element also to be considered in Wolfe's work. It is
a matter of opinion, but for me, the nastiness of the space-faring human population of 
5HoC was replaced by a much deeper sense of horror as I suddenly realized toward the 
end of V.R.T that I was the only human surrounded by planet of aliens who only look and 
act human. Brrrr. Much more chilling than a story about french astronauts. 		 	   		  

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