Originally Posted by BigOlChiefsfan
True dat, on the re-read. I'm re-reading His Wizard Knight novels as we speak, and if you're interested in 'fantasy' these are mo' bettah than the various Urth books. Duty, courage, fidelity are hidden in amongst the knighthood adventures. Wolfe is probably the most 'moral' writer we have these days in any genre. You just don't notice it as you read it, only later when you're thinking, "I wonder if he meant..." yes, he probably did.
I just re-read the Latro books again last month for the umpteenth time, there's a 3rd volume for those due out in October of this year. It'll be called Soldier of Sidon. One tip for you while you read the Latro stories...keep a copy of Herodotus 'the Histories' near by for reference. It won't hurt to have Bullfinch's mythology handy as well. Worth all the effort, they're my alltime favorites of all his books.
Thoughts on memory and how understanding affects it, as well as the 'unreliable narrator' are Wolfe's claim to fame. I saw a recent photo of him, he's no spring chicken. Let's enjoy him while we've got him. A national treasure, even if he can't be everyone's cup of tea.
Thanks for the tip on Latro. You also might like:
Robert Borski's Solar Laybrinth, and his newer work The Long and Short of It. While I don't agree with all of his conclusions, he has some fascinating idea. He makes a fantastic case the main character of the New Sun isn't really Severian...but Father Inire.
"Attending Daedalus" is also a nice analysis of the Urth cycle, though the author eludes me at this time.
No spring chicken indeed. He's absolutely an acquired taste, but I believe him to be one of the finest authors writing today. Those looking for a quick "kill the bad guy, grab the treasure, and take over the kingdom" book will be disappointed. Thankfully.
Good point about his morality. To borrow a pharse from another author, Wolfe went a long way towards convincing me over the years that Religious Conservatism did not directly equal mean spiritedness. For that, I have a lot of gratitude.