(urth) Suzanne Delage redux
gerryq at indigo.ie
Thu Dec 9 09:39:25 PST 2010
----- Original Message -----
From: Jerry Friedman
From: Gerry Quinn gerryq at indigo.ie
> Suzanne Delage is a kind of horror story, but the supernatural element is something we do not think of as supernatural, because it is > the stuff of every romance novel - only Wolfe has inverted the story.
> There is no doubt here - this is the image of the woman he would have loved. If only he had met her.
>By some perverse conspiracy of chance or fate he did not, and his life has been wasted.
I pretty much agree with this--it's "the dislocation of all we expect from nature and probability"--but I suspect supernatural intervention. I see no connection to Snow White and greatly doubt the one to sea urchins. In other words, in the unlikely event that Wolfe meant them, he didn't put them in the story in a way that helps me enjoy it.
That's a good point about the "dislocation" - I think it satisfies Gwern's question about "the narrator's promise". I don't think Kidd's introduction should really guide our interpretation. So what of the other parts of the story - the quilts, the photographs, etc. - which seem extraneous to the above interpretation?
To my mind they can be interpreted simply as setting; they frame the plot and are necessary to support it, but are not really part of the plot itself, nor do they supply puzzle clues.
I also see no real connection to Snow White, unless the narrator is Snow White, in which case perhaps the bitter old woman is the Witch. But there are no dwarves in sight. If the tale is one of supernatural intervention, though, perhaps it could be looked for here.
The proposed association with sea urchins is plainly spurious.
- Gerry Quinn
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