Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader
This study of the fiction of Gene Wolfe, one of the most influential contemporary American science fiction writers, offers a major reinterpretation of Gene Wolfe's four-volume The Book of the New Sun and its sequel The Urth of the New Sun. employs evolutionary theory to argue for a controversial secular reception of a narrative in which Wolfe plays an elaborate textual game with his reader. After exposing the concealed story at the heart of Wolfe's magnum opus, Wright adopts a variety of approaches to establish that Wolfe is the designer of an intricate textual labyrinth intended to extend his thematic preoccupations with subjectivity, the unreliability of memory, the manipulation of individuals by social and political systems, and the psychological potency of myth, faith and symbolism into the reading experience. Drawing evidence not only from the first 30 years of Wolfe's career but from sources as diverse as reception theory, palaeontology, the Rennaissance hermetic tradition, mythology and science fiction's sub-genre of dying earth literature, Wright provides an accessible interpretation of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun.
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Algis Budrys alien alludes allusions ambiguity analogous apparent art of memory Autarch become Budrys Camillo's Castleview Chapter characters Citadel Claw clues Colin Greenland Commonwealth Conciliator critics describes Dorcas example existence Fifth Head Free Live Free Gene Wolfe Gene Wolfe's Head of Cerberus Hierodules Hierogrammates human Ibid implies Increate interpretation intertextual Jack Vance Joan Gordon John Clute Latro Lictor literary London Long Sun man-apes manipulation Matachin meaning memory system metafictional metaphorical Michael Bishop Mist mnemonic mnemonist monomythic myth mythic narrative's narrator Nessus Nightside obscure observes pattern pentalogy perceive plot protagonist provides puzzle quest reading reality recognises recontextualisation reveals review of Soldier science fantasy Science Fiction seems sense Severian Shadow significant Silk Soldier of Arete species story structure subjectivity suggests Sword symbolic tetralogy text's textual theatre Thecla thematic themes Torturer Tzadkiel understanding universe unreliability unreliable narrators Urth Cycle Urth's Whorl Wolfe's fiction Wolfe's pentalogy writing Yesod