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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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‘The God and His Man’: Critical Responses to The Urth Cycle

‘The God and His Man’: Critical Responses to The Urth Cycle

Chapter:
(p.49) 4. ‘The God and His Man’: Critical Responses to The Urth Cycle
Source:
Attending Daedalus
Author(s):

Peter Wright

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853238188.003.0004

Following a detailed synopsis of The Urth Cycle, this chapter addresses the critical response to the texts and observes how reviewers have often fallen victim to Wolfe's literary sleights of hand. It argues that the enigmatic nature of The Urth Cycle has resulted in a critical response that has been disappointing, with contradictory assertions, unresolved conjectures and inconclusive arguments standing as testimony to the often bewildering consequences of Wolfe's literary games-playing. Reviewing this response, the chapter highlights what it perceives as the shortcomings of a number of reviews and articles before arguing that any criticism related to The Urth Cycle is an autobiographical exercise. The conclusions reached, it suggests, should indicate that understanding proceeds from earlier misinterpretations that led to a more complete comprehension of the text. These earlier misreadings, it proposes, are invaluable in demonstrating how Wolfe shapes, and misdirects, reader response.

Keywords:   Gene Wolfe, Urth Cycle, Games-playing, Enigmatic, Synopsis, Critical response

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