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Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2)
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2011 Reads > S&C: Wolfe Inspirations

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Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2845 comments When I got to the part of the Garden of Endless Sleep, I couldn't help but picture the scene in Harry Potter #6 with the lake and the hands....

What else seems familiar, that authors may have taken from Wolfe (or vice versa)?

message 2: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
I mostly have noticed things Wolfe has borrowed:

The lake around the island of the averns reminds me of the Dead Marshes from Lord of the Rings (I can't help partially picturing it the way it's portrayed in the film ;) ).

The first time I read the series many aspects reminded me of Jorge Borges. Borges likes to make precise, surreal but somehow logical constructs out of fantastical ideas. During this re-read I've learned there are a number of direct Borges references or borrowings in the New Sun -- Father Inire's Fish (spoiler, Shadow, chapter 20) for instance. Baldanders has an entry in the same Borges book as the Fish.

Mentioned before, Wolfe gives credit to Jack Vance's The Dying Earth as a big inspiration in terms of setting, mood and theme.

message 3: by Ed (last edited Mar 03, 2011 11:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments There's a lot of Borges in The Book of the New Sun 1-4, for sure. Ultan's library (see "The Library of Babel" by Borges), Severian's "perfect" memory (see "Funes the Memorious" by Borges), even Ultan himself is probably Borges, if you read the description closely.

The scene in the graveyard of chapter 1 of Shadow seems to be inspired by the beginning of Dickens' Great Expectations.

Wolfe has claimed his favorite author (at least as a youngster) is Rudyard Kipling. Some stuff that happens in The Citadel of the Autarch reminds me of Gunga Din.

Wolfe has also been heavily influenced by G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown Stories. That influence is most evident in "The Book of the Long Sun".

Wolfe's Latro in the Mist was obviously inspired by Herodotus.

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