Attending Daedalus

BookAttending Daedalus

Attending Daedalus

Gene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 29

2003

October 1st, 2003

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This new 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. 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.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Contents7
Acknowledgements9
Preface11
A Note on Editions13
Abbreviations14
Part I: Initiations17
1. ‘Silhouette’: An Introduction to Gene Wolfe19
2. ‘Trip, Trap’: Psychology and Thematic Coherence39
3. ‘In the House of Gingerbread’: Interpretative Games and the Psychology of Reader Response53
4. ‘The God and His Man’: Critical Responses to The Urth Cycle65
Part II: Investigations: The Urth Cycle83
5. ‘The Toy Theatre’: Uncovering the Story of The Urth Cycle85
6. ‘The Last Thrilling Wonder Story’? Intergeneric Operations102
7. ‘How the Whip Came Back’: Directing Reader Response120
8. ‘Cues’: The Function of Unfamiliar Diction142
9. ‘There Are Doors’: Memory and Textual Structure161
10. ‘A Solar Labyrinth’: Metafictional Devices and Textual Complexity182
Part III: Conclusions199
11. ‘The Map’: The Multi-volume Novels and Metafictional Cartography201
Notes223
Bibliography237
Index249