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Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 19:51:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Straight 
Subject: Re: (urth) Three Fingers

On Mon, 17 Mar 2003, Gareth Jelley wrote:

> Do you think it is supposed to imply that the boy's perceptions are
> changing, and that he is, thus, delusional? Or are his perceptions being
> changed. Is he mad, basically?
> Is the whole denoument, basically, just a confrontation between three caring
> adults, and one mad child; and is the child, because he is delusional,
> imagining this confrontation in terms and codes and conventions that he is
> familiar with (and obssessed by)?

The whole idea of ending a story with the revelation that the viewpoint
character is insane and has halucinated the whole story is so cliche and
(usually) so sterile, that I'm tempted to read another meta-interpretation
into the ending.

Perhaps we're supposed to imagine Wolfe turning in this story in which
Disney is the villain, but Disney is too scary and powerful so the editor
forces Wolfe to tack on a "not really, it's just the crazy delusion of a
lunatic" ending.

Note that the very next story in the collection ("Death of Dr. Island"),
is one which gets weirder and weirder for several pages, constantly
forcing you to revise your hypotheses of where/when the protagonist is and
what is going on and what sort of universe it is.  The answer is that old
cliche, that the protagonist is insane and in a mental institution --
except the twist is that none of the weirdness is the protagonist's



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