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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Forlesen -- Thoughts?
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 00:06:33 

> 8. What about those shifting columns that he saw, just before the cop
>came...does that mean it was all an illusion?

I have a new theory about these shadows. (And that is all Forlesen saw,
after all, the shadows of whatever was holding up the road. And can we even
be sure of that?)

They were the shadows of beanstalks. Forlesen was up in the land of the
giants in the clouds. That's why all the distances were so vast and it took
him so long to drive to work!

And I don't care beans if anyone disagrees with me. <g>

>One of the things I liked most about it was
>the subtle humor, almost Dilbertian (ok, so Dilbert is not very
>subtle...you know what I mean) in effect.

Actually, it took me a moment to realize what you meant, but I got it and I
think you have a point here that I am not sure has been made before in this
list. This story is, among many other things, a satire on the
late-twentieth-century job in the industrialized world and specifically in
United States of America and a pointed reminder of what is wrong with it.
Or as Matt Groening put it, _Work is Hell_.

Now, I don't claim this isn't obvious, but I am not sure the importance of
this aspect of the story has been adequately recognized on this list. After
all, Wolfe does make this his Labor Day story in _Gene Wolfe's Book of
Days_. And Wolfe has repeatedly said that he felt very lucky to have a job
he enjoyed, implying, at least, that most people do not.

And now for another fun Gene Wolfe activity.
Gene Wolfe left some perfectly good holidays out of _Gene Wolfe's Book of
Days_. I suggest that we all pick a missing holiday and suggest a story for
it. I'll start: Groundhog's Day - "Feather Tigers".

William Ansley

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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