Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thoughts on Gene Wolfe

In March, Gene Wolfe will be honored here.

What I wrote about Gene Wolfe today, and the bit of cover from "Strange Birds" that shows Neil Gaiman and Gene as the strange birds they are:

During the time Gene and I worked together on Strange Birds, we got into a habit of exchanging emails, once a day. Every morning I'd wake to find a note from Gene. These were unique bits that could've been strung together like beads for a strange necklace. I applied that layer of Gene to his work and began to understand why it and this marvelous and brilliant human resonated so strongly with me. He told me the stories he wrote for Birds were the darkest he'd ever written. Gene's work taught me a lot about symbols, layers and subtlety. It took me into new territories. In an interview later, Gene said he was a little scared of me and suspected that secretly I was a cannibal. Maybe he thought that or maybe he didn't, as Gene is a bit of a jester and I a bit of a fool. The funny thing is, I am a cannibal, in engineering terms. I re-purpose objects into symbols, and it might well be Gene's work that pushed me in that direction. My dear Gene, you may be surprised to learn that it was you who turned me into this sort of cannibal. Your work is in mine. Deepest admiration and congratulations, my friend. I will love you always and, in my dreams, you are delicious.

In addition, there's a flash fiction writing contest connected to the event here.

I'm working today with Gene in mind, for sure.


mordicai said...

Gene Wolfe is easily the greatest living writer, & was to my twenties what Tolkien was to my teens-- a revelation that became the foundation of everything that followed. I can't sing his praises enough.

lisa said...

Well said, mordicai. Suddenly, I know you better. Thank you.