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From: "Alex David Groce" <adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Forlesen -- Thoughts?
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 11:11:15 

On Jan 12, 12:06am, William H. Ansley wrote:
> Subject: Re: (urth) Forlesen -- Thoughts?
> > 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.

	Yes, I think this is the heart of the story.  I convinced a friend
who's a financial analyst at a bank to read the BOTNS, and he loved it.  He
bought Castle of Days at a used book store and read it.  I asked what he
thought of Forlesen, and he just grimaced and said "It hits very close to
	Are the shifting columns (I don't have my copy with me) where Forlesen
sees the demon shapes or monsters or whatever?  I always thought that was
simply part of the hell imagery, if so...

> --------------------------------------------
> 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".

Easter would be _Seven American Nights_, I think.  Or perhaps _The Detective of
Dreams_, but the first is my choice...

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." - John 8:32
Alex David Groce (adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu)
Senior (Computer Science/Multidisciplinary Studies in Technology & Fiction)
'98-99 NCSU AITP Student Chapter President
608 Charleston Road, Apt. 1E (919)-233-7366

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

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