Same Time, Some Place
In Rebecca Lu Kiernan’s “The Case Against Chaos”:
- Who is Tom Ford?
- What does the poem suggest is the alternative to “chaos”?
In Gary Inbinder’s “Nemo and Kafka Balance the Books”: At the risk of creating a continuation to the bureaucratic epic, might Nemo and Kafka not find a way to “uncook” the books and spare little Timmy an Untimely demise?
In Afzal Moolla’s “The Taliban Within”:
- What is the difference in the subjects and the prayers between parts 1 and 2?
- The poem explicitly names the Taliban, but what is it really about? If the poem is read as a denunciation, how is it ironic?
- The poem might be written from the point of view of a certain religion, especially in the implicit allusions to such phrases as “You have heard of old time, but I tell you...” Is the poem necessarily written from the point of view of any particular religion?
In Ron Van Sweringen’s “Rescue on Ragtop Mountain”:
- Aside from the festive occasion of Maw-Maw’s dinner, could the events in the story have taken place at another time of year, such as January or February, with no gain or loss of meaning?
- How does the story reflect cultural assumptions common in early 20th-century America?
- What is the function of the tone of the story? How does it relate to actual conditions in the years between, say, 1890 and 1940?
- How might the scenario play out in a story written from the perspective of today’s culture?
In Bertil Falk’s “Blue Night, Blue City”:
- The setting in time and place is not specified. Why not? At what time in history does the story appear to take place? And, generally speaking, where?
- The narration alludes to a story behind the story. What is the connection between the characters that Harry meets in his wanderings, from one night to the next? What may have happened between them?
- How does the history of the city’s “Great Square” foreshadow Harry’s conclusion about life in the city?
- At the end, “the lights of the blue city sparkled like multicolored jewels.” What is the function of the ending, and how might the symbolism of the lights be interpreted: as beauty and hope? Or as something else?
In Victor Fernando R. Ocampo’s “Synchronicity”:
- Why does Felix compulsively wipe the seats of the bus with his handkerchief? At what point does the action become comical?
- Which proper names in the story are taken from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot?
- What is the connection between Beckett’s Godot and the adventures of Felix and Fr. Vladimir? Do either or both ever meet “Godot” literally or figuratively?
- How does Felix’s cellphone’s endless replaying of the Police album parallel the structure of Waiting for Godot?
- Is the “Infinite Libary” similar or identical to that of Jose Luis Borges?
- Felix observes with alarm that he and Fr. Vladimir are caught in a recursive story that amounts to a cliché. How does the story transcend the status of cliché?
- What is the difference and similarity between the bus driver and John G. Hancock’s Cerberus, in issue 506?
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