(urth) Short Story 13: The Changeling

Marc Aramini marcaramini at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 10:03:13 PDT 2014

Him being in the seventh grade explains why he isn't in the picture- his
perceptions were altered by wrestling with his changeling. It seems
mysterious but can be rationalized if we accept Peter Palmieri alters the
perceptions of everyone in contact with him, but his father and Pete are a
little different. It also explains why there was a room for Peter when he
appeared at Maria's childhood and how someone overseas knew to ask about
peter, and makes sense of the name of the church, the immaculate
conception, which is concerning Mary's birth without sin (not Jesus') (ie
the changeling shows up when Maria is young).

The old man being dead could either mean the island of never land is the
isle of death (closer than when Pete was young but farther from the shores
of the real world than it is when he is on it compared to the other
children) or that the father who takes Pete Palmer has passed on, his
powerful evil might to bend nails broken.

It is, however, set in the world of Peace, so I am sure fairy stories are
important to both works.

On Monday, July 21, 2014, Robert Pirkola <rpirkola at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I had read the posts about the 3 missing years, though I had little to add
> to that at this time other than if he is an "oaf", persons I generally
> associate with being dullards, isn't it possible that Pete Palmer was held
> back a number of years in school so that he was in 4th grade in 1944 AND
> born in 1931?  That non-magical explanation aside, I have a hard time
> disagreeing with your timeline.  The purpose of my post was that I had just
> noticed while reading the various interpretations that have been used over
> the years for "The Changeling" that they were rarely, if ever, discussed
> all together so I tried my hand at doing so, adding in some details I had
> found and thought informative.
> Also, while reading some of the old musings on this story by Ron Crown, Michael
> Andre-Driussi, James Jordan, et al., from 1997, I noticed that there was
> reference to Wolfe whispering the secret of the "The Changeling" to Damon
> Knight:
> "[W]hen Damon Knight reprinted 'Changeling' in a best-of Orbit collection from
> the first ten volumes; he prefaced it with a letter to Wolfe written when
> he bought the story in which he confesses that he 'can't sort it out into
> any one consistent, linear, daylight-logic pattern.' According to Knight,
> Wolfe revealed the secret years later when he whispered to him 'The old
> man is dead, you know.'" (Urth, Ron Crown, July 15, 1997).
> The WolfeWiki entry for "The Changeling" has a mention of this same event
> but puts it thusly: "That may be why when Larry Niven asked for an
> explanation of this story Wolfe simply said 'The old man is dead.'"
> http://www.wolfewiki.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Stories.TheChangeling
> Beyond the obvious conflict about who received the explanation, there is
> significant doubt that it was in reference to "The Changeling" at all.
>  Micahel Andre-Driussi:  "I just can't shake the feeling that Wolfe was
> telling Knight about PEACE rather than 'The Changeling.'"
> Does anyone have the Best-Of Orbit collection with the Damon Knight
> preface that they can consult to clear
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