(urth) Suzanne Delage redux

DAVID STOCKHOFF dstockhoff at verizon.net
Thu Dec 9 10:52:08 PST 2010

Thanks for the feedback on my little proposal. ;)
It seems that two of the verifiable clues are ruled out, leaving only Proust and memory and Wolfean narrative inversions in consideration. Sometimes Wolfe does write a fairly straightforward (in the sense of limited to the source genre) homage to a favorite author, such as Dunsany, in which there is barely a sci-fi twist at all. Perhaps there is none here.
Again, the rest (vampires, etc.) must be noise and supposition. It's striking, isn't it, and telling, that this relatively simple and slight story can receive such projections. (Not to mock their originators.)
I'll have to look at the story tonight. 

--- On Thu, 12/9/10, Gerry Quinn <gerryq at indigo.ie> wrote:

From: Gerry Quinn <gerryq at indigo.ie>
Subject: Re: (urth) Suzanne Delage redux
To: "The Urth Mailing List" <urth at lists.urth.net>
Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 12:39 PM

#yiv612575330 DIV {


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  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 

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 
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 
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 
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 
The proposed association with sea urchins is 
plainly spurious.
- Gerry Quinn

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