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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 397

I Woof the Art Poetic

  1. In Poetry and Flash Fiction:

    1. In the “Ars Poetica” of Bill Bowler and Archibald MacLeish, respectively:
      1. How do the verbs differ in mood?
      2. How does the imagery differ in tone between the two poems? Can you find a thematic progression in the imagery of either poem?
    2. In Anna Ruiz’ “Relativity...”:

      1. Does the poem effectively constitute an applied ars poetica in itself? In what ways does it combine both Bill Bowler’s and Archibald MacLeish’s sensibility?
      2. Can you analyze all the metaphors and symbols or are some of them riddles?
    3. Larry A. Kayser’s “Just Imagine” is hardly realistic:

      1. What would probably happen to the narrator in the difficulties he proposes? Does imagining amount to more than “whistle a happy tune”?
      2. Is the narrator mean-spirited or does he have redeeming qualities?
  2. In S. H. Linden’s “The Escape”:

    1. What is the chronology of events in the story?
    2. In what way is Frank Moore like the Rambo character as portrayed by Sylvester Stallone? In what way is he the opposite?
  3. How do Bob Brill’s Rod, Rex and Rhoda and Arthur Mackeown’s “The Biter Bit” differ in their portrayal of dogs, or at least of particular dogs?

  4. In other prose:

    1. What does Blaise Marcoux’s “Yellow Pickle” illustrate about viewing reality as fiction? About taking fiction for reality?

    2. How does Cat Connor’s Killerbyte interweave “virtual” and “real” reality? How does the character Ellie imply that they may be separate?

  5. Otilia Tena’s “The Lady Teacher Without a Name” is characterized by striking lapses in cause and effect and by abnormal events that pass for normal, for example:

    • The new teacher appears unannounced. As the story’s title says, she has no name.
    • Daisy unaccountably asks the mystery lady to be her mother.
    • Daisy’s grandfather speculates that the “teacher” may be a water sprite but otherwise shows no interest in the strange events at Daisy’s school.
    • If the inadventently locked door were possible in a real school, it would be a major safety issue, but it’s seen as nothing out of the ordinary.
    • “Evening came. In one of my English essays I wrote: ‘And evening came like a thief of silver, with bells tied to his ankles’.” — Is the thief made of silver or does the thief steal silver? Or both?
    • The ending of the story is very mysterious. What might it mean?

    Is “The Lady Teacher Without a Name” a coherent story or is it really a dream sequence embedded in a partially perceived reality? Assuming it is a dream, what might it mean?

Responses welcome!

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