All of the above, Sarah, all of the above!!! And thank you. Cally said….
Read e-book Peter Poppits Banana Leaf Adventure
Debs Carr said…. I read about this in The Bookseller, congratulations! I love the title and can't wait to read Move Over Darling. Fabulous picture too. Friko said…. Congratulations on your promotional day. I can see how exhilarating it must feel. I believe all of it except the sun hat and sun dress.
Were was this? Were you freezing? Flowerpot said….
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How exciting Chris and cant waitto read the book. Besides its position as a focal point into Europe, its etymological presence is that of the sardonic grin — a plant commonly found on the island makes corpses grin and grimace. The Sardonians had a ritual of killing old people with the poison while laughing loudly. Thus, I always buy into "exhaustive and exclusive" readings, and I believe Wolfe does too, though ambiguity in most postmodern authors certainly leaves more open texts.
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I think Wolfe subverts postmodern ambiguity by using its techniques to assert a singular, consistent reality which actually works against subjectivity in the majority of his stories, unlike a true postmodern artist. Then again, that's just my take. Thanks for the information on the paper. In the above reading, alas, Gassem's name becomes something of a very bad pun - his grain will "gas 'em" when prepared. Hi, First, I beg your pardon for inevitable mistakes in my english cos I'm French nobody's perfect.
I agree with Marc. I think ambiguity in Wolfe's work is only apparent. His stories are built like puzzles or mazes. But there is for the most only one good solution or way out.
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Details are very important, probably all details, for guiding readers up to the right point. It's possible that several levels of meaning coexist in his stories but they are no real alternative at the same level. In other words, they are ranked hierarchically. Well, Gene Wolfe is a catholic, I was told; so it shouldn't be very surprising that there is only one truth in the end, at least in his mind. I think the best way to understand his writing and his huge work is a very short story entitled "a solar labirynth".
Otherwise, and without any link with this topic, I just read your post about Wolfe and women his so-called misogyny. I think you're absolutly right : Wolfe doesn't endorse his characters'statements; he is by far more complicated and tortuous than this. And he certainly loves women, or at least some of them. But his so-called misoginy is only a part of the problem. The fact is that his heroes, or let's say his main male characters are very often unappealing, not only because of their brutality against women, specially in his novellas and novels less true for his short stories.
I like a lot Wolfe's stories but not his "heroes".
For me, they sound like a fault. Hey Marc. Thanks for posting a really interesting reading of the novella.
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Thanks, Jean, for your comments. The maze-solver the reader explores their own path, separate to that of Mr. Smith, and although their paths may intersect, those who persevere find their own solutions sometimes using something as random as a cloud passing overhead to make it through. Also, Mr. Oh, and also so I can read awesome French-language comics like Blacksad!
I read The Knight but not the following novel for the same reason or so. I like comics too, at least some of them, but I never heard of Blacksad. Do you know the French title? Long Sun is very different to New Sun, being written in the third person and following very good protagonist - not the kind of anti-hero often used by Wolfe although the series is almost certainly not as brilliant as New Sun. I actually think Short Sun might be some of Wolfe's best writing - it is almost certainly the most experimental and difficult of the series - but again we have a somewhat unlikeable protagonist.
Although I didn't have as adverse a reaction to The Urth of the New Sun as many others, I can understand what you mean in your comments.
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And I, too, found The Knight and The Wizard less enjoyable than some of Wolfe's other works, although I prefer them to some of his stand-alone novels. Speaking of his stand-alone novels, my favourites would probably be Peace and There Are Doors many dislike the latter, but I really liked it, despite some potential problems in gender representation. It's a noir detective series following anthropomorphic animals through s America. The art is incredible.
The fine vessels of the company then running were, although perhaps the most commodious in the world, hardly the safest. The distance between San Francisco and Japan is 5, miles, and, barring a few hundred miles on the coasts of the latter, the ocean is almost one grand calm lake. But cyclones occur in the Japanese seas when the high-built American boats are not safe. Among them was a dignified and venerable Parsee merchant, a merchant prince in his way, who had wished to study European manners, and so had proceeded as far as San Francisco.
What he saw there impressed him so unfavourably, that he immediately took passage back again. What he observed, indeed, filled him with disgust. Never in the streets of our towns will you be shocked by the sight of drunkards and bad women. The chief engineer is described as a thoughtful and meditative man—a Roman Catholic, deeply imbued with the spirit of religious fervour, and spending his time in the alternate study of theology and practical mechanics. His cabin, opening on the one side to the deck and on the other to the machinery, contained a well-selected, though small, library of scientific and classical books, and was adorned by pots of flowers, which he managed to keep alive by constant care, in spite of the sea-breezes, for they had been given to him by his young and beautiful wife, whose portrait hung upon the wall.
For a couple of weeks only in each three months could he see his better half. These are the only two idlers in the service. Thirty-two Chinamen do the duties of waiters on the passengers and at table. Although short, they look well enough with their black caps, their equally black pig-tails, which go down to their heels, their dark- [pg 38] blue tunics, their large white trousers, their gaiters or white stockings, and their black felt shoes with strong white soles.
They form themselves into symmetrical groups, and do everything with method. Fancy a huge cabin, in which the small table of twenty-two guests is lost, with all these little Chinamen fluttering round them and serving them in the most respectful manner, without making any noise. In that of the morning all the cabin-doors are opened, only excepting those of the ladies; but the moment these have gone out the captain visits them with equal care.
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If any matches are discovered they are pitilessly confiscated. This morning the captain invited me to accompany him, and I could convince myself with my own eyes of the perfect order and discipline which reign everywhere. Nothing was more tempting than that department which one greatly avoids, the kitchens. The head cook and his assistants, all Germans, did the honours of their domain.
Every man was at his post, and only anxious to show the visitors the most secret corners of his department. It was like an examination of conscience carefully made. The provision and store-rooms were admirable. The Chinese quarter is on the lower deck. We have about on board. They are all in their berths, smoking and talking, and enjoying the rare pleasure in their lives of being able to spend five weeks in complete idleness. In spite of the great number of men penned into so comparatively small a space, the ventilation is so well managed that there is neither closeness nor bad smells.
The captain inspects every hole and corner, literally everything—and everywhere we found the same extraordinary cleanliness.
One small space is reserved for the opium-eaters or smokers; and we saw these victims of a fatal habit, some eagerly inhaling the poison, others already feeling its effects. Lying on their backs and fast asleep, their deadly-pale features gave them the look of corpses.