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From: Redhaven1@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Suzanne Delage
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 16:44:29 EDT

    I haven't posted on this mailing list in a long time, but now I have a 
question and don't know who else to ask.  I'm trying to stay away from WHORL 
for a while, at least until I read In Green's Jungles.  Anyway, I've been 
reading Endangered Species, a collection of Wolfe's short stories and I ran 
across this:

"The idea which has so forcibly struck me was simply this: that every man has 
had in the course of his life some extraordinary experience, some dislocation 
of all we expect from nature and probability, of such magnitude that he might 
in his own person serve as a living proof of Hamlet's hackneyed precept-- but 
that he has, nearly always, been so conditioned to consider himself the most 
mundane of creatures, that, finding no relationship to the remainder of his 
life in this extraordinary experience, he has forgotten it."

This quote is from the beginning of a story entitled "Suzanne Delage", 
published in 1980 in Edges.  The story then goes on to describe the 
narrator's uneventful life and his relationship with a seemingly unnoteworthy 
woman named Suzanne Delage.  I have two questions.  The first relates to the 
quote itself and probably sounds very niave.  I'm unfamiliar with much 
Shakespear and simply wonder what "Hamlet's hackneyed precept" is and how it 
relates.  My second question is regarding the story itself: does anyone 
understand it?!  And if so, could you please illuminate me?  The beginning of 
the story hints that something fantastic and half-remembered took place in 
the narrator's life, and as the story progresses you keep waiting for it to 
be revealed.  The narrator however, seems to not remember, or at least only 
remember pieces.  I'm sure there's something in the story but I'm just too 
dense to realize it.  All in all, the story is a riddle, as most of Wolfe's 
stories seem to be, but I'm not getting this one.  (Which is not unusual; I 
most often am too dense to understand the whole of most of his stories, but 
just deep enough to enjoy them nonetheless.  Not fully understanding is what 
I believe makes them so appealing to me.)  Anyway, I'd appreciate help in 
understanding this one.


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

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