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Attending DaedalusGene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader$
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Peter Wright

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238188

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780853238188.001.0001

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‘Silhouette’: An Introduction to Gene Wolfe

‘Silhouette’: An Introduction to Gene Wolfe

(p.3) 1. ‘Silhouette’: An Introduction to Gene Wolfe
Attending Daedalus

Peter Wright


This chapter argues that Gene Wolfe is one of the most neglected and misunderstood writers of contemporary science fiction and fantasy. It provides a bio-bibliographical introduction to Wolfe's work published between 1965 and 2001 and engages critically with the limited scholarly attention that work has received. In so doing, it identifies and confirms Wolfe's recurrent thematic preoccupations with the subjective nature of perception, the motivating power of engineered myths, memory, and time. Drawing together reviews and commentaries, the chapter emphasises the ambiguity, complexity and elaborate textual puzzles that characterise Wolfe's fiction. It concludes by arguing that The Urth Cycle forms the thematic, formal and stylistic centre of Wolfe's writing. It proposes that an understanding of these five novels provides essential insights into the characteristics of Wolfe's fiction as a whole.

Keywords:   Gene Wolfe, Urth Cycle, Perception, Memory, Myth, Time, Puzzle, Labyrinth, Conundrum

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