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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 569

Off the House

  1. In Sherman Smith’s “John Doe,” how does Elroy’s situation resemble that of Brooks, in chapters 42 and 44?

  2. In Boris Kokotov’s “Poetry Reading at a Local Library”:

    1. In your experience, is the audience typical of such groups?
    2. What common mistakes do the audience’s questions illustrate?
  3. In J. J. Roth’s Legacy of the Fallen Stars, the story proceeds thematically and episodically with an external chronology of centuries. Would a dramatis personae at the beginning of each chapter help the readers find coherence in the action? Might some other narrative strategy be useful?

  4. In Eric J. Guignard’s “Living in the Moment”:

    1. How does the story illustrate Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise?
    2. What is the logical flaw in Zeno’s paradox?
  5. In E. B. Fischadler’s “Basted Son”:

    1. What does the title mean?
    2. The first sentence of the story telegraphs the joke. How might the story be written without the joke, to explain Victor’s bemusement at his physical condition?
  6. In Zane Blom’s “A Drunkard’s Wish”:

    1. What emotional state does the poem depict that might elicit sympathy from the reader?
    2. Why might the poem also make the reader think the narrator is insincere?

  7. Responses welcome!

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