R.I.P., Gene Wolfe. Here are some quotes from his writing.
“Just as mainstream literature shows us how our contemporaries view the present, and historical fiction shows us how they view the past (not, of course, what the present or the past were actually like), so speculative fiction shows us how they view the future. I happen to believe that my contemporaries’ view of the past is not very important; but their view of the present is quite definitely important, and their view of the future is vital.”
“My definition of a great story has nothing to do with ‘a varied and interesting background.’ It is: One that can be read with pleasure by a cultivated reader and reread with increasing pleasure. The business about a varied and interesting background belongs to my definition of a good story.”
“This, then, is the new illiteracy, the illiteracy of those who can read but don’t. […] This new illiteracy is more pernicious than the old, because unlike the old illiteracy it does not debar its victims from power and influence, although like the old illiteracy it disqualifies them for it. Those long-dead men and women who learned to read so that they might read the Bible and John Bunyan would tell us that pride is the greatest of all sins, the father of sin. And the victims of the new illiteracy are proud of it. If you don’t believe me, talk to them and see with what pride they trumpet their utter ignorance of any book you care to name.”
“Almost any interesting work of art comes close to saying the opposite of what it really says.”