(urth) barrington interview
severiansola at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 5 06:08:39 PDT 2014
>Dan'l Danehy-Oakes: That's actually a really sweet interview.
>Rick Norwood: What a wonderful interview.
I agree. Thanks for posting that, Marc.
>Marc Aramini: Here is an interview with Gene that makes fun of symbol hunters and people
>being identified as Richard Nixon or whatnot in his novels (here's looking at you, navigator
>as JFK borski theory) ...
Ouch. That's borderline catty, Marc! ;- )
>To be fair, we all already know why speculation abounds ... He is a symbolist.
Exactly. Wolfe isn't making fun of those who try to understand his symbolism; only those
who get it wrong.
Which, in my opinion, isn't really fair on Wolfe's part, because he obviously puts
quite difficult puzzles and symbology into his work and (with a few exceptions) refuses to
ever offer any guidance on when his readers are getting it right or wrong.
I certainly think Borski often errs on the side of over-exhuberance in his symbol interpretations.
But I'll take his bold attempts over being overly cautious for fear of being wrong. I think he has a
good eye for detail and in spotting where SOME veiled meaning is intended, even if I don't agree
with what he thinks the meaning is.
In regard to the passage you cite, he takes the line "When the navigator was buried there were
black wagons and people in black clothes walking" as referring to Kennedy's funeral based on
Wolfe being Catholic and that being a significant event for all Americans living in the 60's. The
Apollo moon landing was a similar event and that is referenced in BotNS, so hey, I don't fault
Borski for taking a stab at that one.
Since Severian notes in the next paragraph that people in the Commonwealth don't wear fuligin
to funerals, it could be that the passage is meant as no more than an addition to the evidence
that the people in the antechamber come from some other, far-away place. Considering a
Kennedy reference may go too far, but given the earlier moon landing reference, it does no harm.
In this interview, Wolfe suggests that he'd like to go Shakespearean and pound on Borski's (or
or Wright's or whomever's) door, sword in hand, to challenge him to a duel for demeaning his work.
It is tongue-in-cheek of course but, hey...if Wolfe really cared that much about his work being read
correctly, why not publish notes on how to read it correctly? Without that, poetic and artistic license
is granted to whomever chooses to publish a Wolfe analysis.
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