This essay was written for John Clute’s proposed book of essays on Gene Wolfe’s fiction. Back in the early 90s, before the Internet as we know it existed, I was posting messages on the Gene Wolfe topic at GEnie (it was a message board system). Before long, Gregory Feeley kindly suggested that I write an essay for John Clute’s proposed anthology of Wolfe criticism. It seemed at the time that the book would be published by 1994. It may well be that my essay killed the whole project with its leaden prose. I once read it aloud at a bookstore and literally put people to sleep–good people, I might add. [Jeremy Crampton’s essay, Some Greek Themes in Gene Wolfe’s Latro novels, was also written for Clute’s collection of essays]
Category: Book of the New Sun
1. The Strange Bear Man at the Threshold
The first time I read The Urth of the New Sun, one scene tantalized me more than any other. I could see just enough to know that there was a great deal I could not see yet. The symbols were there, I just could not understand them.
- Volume One: Shadow and Claw
- Volume Two: Sword and Citadel (Millennium, 2000)
Reviewed by Peter Wright
This document briefly examines the use of torture and confession in Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun and how it both differs from and reflects actual historical practice (at least in Europe and America). It is not the purpose of these notes to provide a full or sustained argument, merely to outline some possible ways of proceeding.