Patrick McEvoy-Halston deposited Rollback: Leaving Women to Demons in Gene Wolfe’s Fiction on MLA Commons 1 year, 11 months ago
Gene Wolfe, living though Severian, re-experiences via Thecla’s characterization of him as not being worth enough to value highly for being what he thought he could only amount to her when he first met her, that is, simply a boy at hand, his own once being lured into the attentions’ of his mother and then dismissed by her when she was done using him as distraction and stimulant, i.e. Silk’s own role with his habitually depressed mother. He repeats in fiction because he is drawn to repeat early traumas, but also because via fiction he can try and rework a remedy, a temporary remedy, to help him stabilize. As the psychohistorian Lloyd DeMause characterizes the functions of wars, fiction too can give the same feeling of being “‘in control and triumphing over feelings of rejection and helplessness.’” What he does is ally himself with a venue, with an entity, that Thecla would have felt as her primary antagonist in life, her mother.