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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 211

Dear Abby Normal

In Young Frankenstein, Igor (“eye-gore,” by Marty Feldman) brings Frankenstein (“Frankensteen,” by Gene Wilder) a pickled brain for experimentation. Its name: Abby. Abby Normal. In this issue, our contributors bring us two such brains.

Review quiz:

  1. Comedy and tragedy both consist in a deviation from ___.
    They differ in ___, not in ___.
  2. “In a tragedy, you ___; in a comedy, you ___.’

And now for the Challenge:

  1. Sarah Downey’s “Silly Sally” and Chris Stires’ “Waiting” are both tragedies. Easy question: Why?
    1. How might each be written as a comedy? Make a least-effort change, concentrating on details.
    2. Insanity is measured by sanity. How is the “voice of reason” heard in “Silly Sally” and “Waiting”?
    3. Exchange the narrators’ perceptions in “Silly Sally” and “Waiting.” What would happen to each if written in the style of the other?
  2. In Mark Spencer’s “Death of Elvis,” why do the celebrities hide?

  3. What might be the literary function of the “log cabin quilt” illustration in Donna Gagnon’s “Instructions”?

  4. The ending to Jean Goldstrom’s response to Challenge 209 is comic. How do you read it: as a relief or as laughing-out-loud funny?


Responses welcome!

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