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From: Derek Bell <dbell@maths.tcd.ie>
Subject: Re: (urth) Holly Hollander's novel
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 17:26:47 +0100

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

	Warning, spoilers ahead!!

	Last warning!

	Disclaimer, this is from memory, so take it with a few
shovelfuls of sal if you like.

In message <199710091915.MAA29588@lists1.best.com>, Sgt. Rock writes:
>I just finished PANDORA, by HOLLY HOLLANDER. This is either the
>simplest, most straight-forward thing Wolfe has written, or I must have
>missed a bunch of stuff. In fact, if it's a conventional "whodunnit" as
>it appears to be on the surface, then it's fairly pedestrian--I guessed
>the conclusion about halfway through. I was expecting to be confuted by
>a typically twisted Wolfean ending...

	OK, my opinion is it is an allegory about love: consider the
various relationships in the story: Holly's granparents; Holly's parents;
Holly's mother and her lover; Holly and Alladin Blue. Each
relationship is based on on different kinds of love, at least from the
men's side. Holly's grandfather is jealous and possessive, her father
loves her mother, though he is resigned about her being unfaithful and
is even willing to take the blame for the bombing to prevent his wife
being jailed. Holly's mother and her lover recognise in each other
that they are similar: they are both very selfish people.

	I have a problem describing Holly and Alladin's relationship;
Alladin's character seems strongly outlined by the incident where his
leg was broken - his motives are noble, though he, like anyone else,
can only do so much before he was intimidated into breaking the law.
(In religious terms, I supposed it was his "fall from grace".)
Holly's character didn't convince me and I find it hard to describe
her, other than she clearly loved her father, wanted to clear his name
and discover the real bomber. Maybe it's just the amount of time
that's elapsed since I read it.


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