Not-Being in a Poem
“I’ve not been on a boat before.”
“You can’t not-be on a boat. What you’ve been is not on boats.”
— Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead
In Robin Helweg-Larsen’s The Word:
- If all gods are fools, is the converse also true?
- Does “rightly” express a preference for atheism or anti-theism?
- Is the view attributed to the agnostic coherent or self-contradictory? Is the “agnostic” really a scientist?
- Does the poem logically deny its own existence?
In David Whippman’s Earthbound, does the poem praise nostalgia or implicitly question its value?
In John Thiel’s The Final Note, what does the account seem to consider to be mistakes in musical composition and improvisation?
In Clark Zlotchew’s The Smell of Land:
- Is the main character’s name, “Perdue,” fitting, or does it give the story away in advance to French-speaking readers?
- What is the function of the dream goddess’s interaction with the priests?
- What does Ed Perdue think the goddess’s feet of clay symbolize? What might they actually symbolize?
- What leads Ed Perdue to reject Vikki? Are his motives understandable? If he has a tragic flaw, what might it be?
- Ed Perdue is a sailor. What might the title “The Smell of Land” alert the reader to in advance?
- In what way is the story a modern variant of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice?
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?