(urth) barrington interview

Marc Aramini marcaramini at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 07:37:16 PDT 2014

I've corresponded with him for about 14 years now ... he thinks dropping
the definitive answer is cheating, but once upon a time he was sure to
correct me on a very important point. He then apologized to me, saying it
"wasn't fair." His purpose is complex, but Wolfe's creative system is
perhaps best understood in the amusement park designer of "The Adopted
Father" - in that story, his children aren't his because they don't think
like he does - he creates an elaborate park maze design and his son can't
navigate it, he becomes lost, because he doesn't pay attention to the clue
his father gives him, so his father seeks out someone who actually does
think as he does.  As I've said, his acknowledgments are also extremely
indirect.  When I told him what I thought about "the Changeling", he said,
"I've always loved Lil' Abner.  So many great characters, so many great
stories and situations."  That's about the most indirect way one could ever
say that my explication was correct.

Wolfe wants to make you work to solve his puzzles ... he almost has the
contradictory impulse in his introductions to put forth that he writes for
the common reader to entertain, but he can't stop being cryptic.  Certainly
his idea of "good" construction and engineering involves creating a text
worth re-reading.

On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 7:07 AM, Lee <severiansola at hotmail.com> wrote:

> >Marc Aramini: And inevitably some readings will be closer to authorial
> intention,
> >some further away.  Wolfe knows if his shadow children are parasites and
> the
> >relationship, if any, between the Abos and the trees.
> Let's pretend Gene Wolfe follows this List. Why do you think he continues
> to not
> chime in and tell you that you are right and others are wrong? What is his
> motivation?
> >No one has ever really talked about my Latro story (probably because it
> sucked,
> >I suppose)
> It is probably good. I didn't know it existed. Also, as an amateur Wolfe
> fan, I find
> keeping up just with Wolfe's work to be enough of a challenge. Also, the
> Latro
> series never interested me enough for a second read, for some reason.
> >Whether the story works outside of the mystery is the difference between
> Wolfe and me.
> >My story clearly doesn't work, his do, but I can tell you if your guesses
> were right or wrong
> >in my work.
> I think you would tell us if our guesses were correct in identifying  your
> intentions. Another
> difference between you and Wolfe. You truly WANT to be understood. He
> doesn't. Otherwise
> he would make the effort to ensure he was understood.
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