(urth) Literal or metaphor?

Marc Aramini marcaramini at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 13 22:32:43 PDT 2013

Anyone who has read his interviews on Peace knows that a few words create a pattern of conclusiveness.  Mrs porter is miss bold across two hundred pages because she is blond, pretty, and associated with trees.   Along with other patterns, this id creates a bigger picture.  All Wolfe's work is like that, though it is always different.  The little details add up to much more.  That stuff is extremely deliberate. He changes her name because he likes the act of encoding and obscuring while still creating a method of decoding through patterns. 

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On Apr 13, 2013, at 9:41 PM, Lee Berman <severiansola at hotmail.com> wrote:

>> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes: The point here is that saying 
>> that something is a metaphor
>> doesn't mean that it isn't also literally true -- 
>> or even _primarily_literally true.
> Thanks, Dan'l. I liked that post a lot.
>> Gerry Quinn: Delaney's point is true, but I do not think 
>> literal metaphors are at too much risk of being ignored 
>> on this list!  Freud's "sometimes a cigar is just 
>> a cigar" may also be useful at times...
> Also a good post. We must hope that every thoughtful,
> analytical poster here has a sort of literary "concience"
> to tell him/her when he has speculated too far to be
> plausibly inspired by the text. But whose conscience
> allows too much and whose does not allow enough? The only
> possible judge is Gene Wolfe and he isn't saying much.
> In reading Wolfe interviews, I am struck by one thing- he
> really expects a lot of his readers. Too much, in many cases.
> I'm currently thinking of when someone asked him if Pig was a
> godling. He answered in an annoyed tone as though it was far 
> too obvious that he was, in fact, a godling.
> It wasn't obvious to me, nor to anyone else I know of. But once
> I was forced to think about it, I could see that the blindness and
> the manner of speech invoke Tartaros and Auk and the name Pig invokes
> Phaea and he first appears in a chapter titled "Great Pas's Godling".
> He isn't as big as the other godling but he is big and knows a lot of
> stuff for a blind guy who seems to appear out of nowhere.
> If I needed the interview to catch that one, what other stuff have I 
> missed. It just seems more likely that I've missed more than I've
> (incorrectly) invented.
> (FWIW, I once had a debate with Roy Lackey about whether the names of
> Horn and his family are meant to designate a connection via bovines. I
> recently noticed that when Horn and Pig are trying to decide a Vironese
> name for him, the big guy suggests "Bull" for himself and Horn smiles
> and says, "People would think we were related". So I think that resolves
> that.                         
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