Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Attending DaedalusGene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Wright

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238188

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780853238188.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

‘In the House of Gingerbread’: Interpretative Games and the Psychology of Reader Response

‘In the House of Gingerbread’: Interpretative Games and the Psychology of Reader Response

(p.37) 3. ‘In the House of Gingerbread’: Interpretative Games and the Psychology of Reader Response
Attending Daedalus

Peter Wright


Exploring the interpretative game Wolfe plays with the reader, this chapter highlights the potential difficulties that such a game may pose for the critic. In so doing, it argues that Wolfe makes a concerted effort to establish parallels between the reader's reception of his work and the trials of his misguided, manipulated protagonists. In essence, it indicates how Wolfe extends his thematic preoccupations into his texts’ hermeneutic circles. It draws attention to how Wolfe compels the reader to experience his particular conception of existence by utilizing, either singly or in combination, four key strategies: the employment of unreliable first-person narrators, the introduction of ambiguity and ellipsis, the inclusion of an often dense intertextuality, and the subversion or hybridisation of familiar generic conventions. The chapter observes that such literary games-playing has fostered consistent misreadings of The Urth Cycle. It concludes by arguing that The Book of the New Sun and The Urth of the New Sun can be productively reassessed in the context of the recurrent themes characterising Wolfe's oeuvre.

Keywords:   Gene Wolfe, Urth Cycle, Unreliable Narrator, Ambiguity, Intertexuality, Generic Conventions, Genre, Hybridisation, Subversion

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.