Bring Back the Dodo
In Joyce Meggett’s In and Out of the Knickknackatorium:
- What might the story imply for current attempts to preserve endangered species, as in zoos?
- Transpose the date from the mid-18th century to the mid-22nd century. Make Alan Turple a space alien. Send us the story. Or do you really have to?
In Vanessa Kittle’s The Shining World:
- In what way is the name for the “former organics” ironic? Hint: What is the difference between “to forego” and “to forgo”?
- Do the artificial intelligences doom themselves to technological obsolescence? Can any group survive?
- Does Jax’s world differ in any meaningful way from that of today’s post-industrial society?
In J. C. G. Goelz’s Responsibilities of Being a Man:
- Trace the theme of violence in the story to date. What actual incidents occur, whether accidental or purposeful?
- In what ways does the characters’ language refer to violence?
- What objects are actually or potentially dangerous?
In Michael R. Burch’s translation of Paul Celan’s Todesfuge:
- The translation uses standard punctuaton; the German original uses none at all. What is gained in both cases? Does punctuation lose anything or does it provide an advantage to the reader in English?
- Nicht eng means literally “not crowded.” Does “there’s sufficient room” understate the meaning? Would “there’s room for more” overstate it?
- Does the translation add anything to the original? If so, is the addition felicitous?
In Gary Beck’s Raw Realism: A Poetry Manifesto:
- What examples does the essay cite of the “new” becoming old and outmoded?
- What social classes are listed as enemies of poetry? Does the essay argue that a certain kind of poetry ought to be universally admired?
- What constitutes the “Information Age”? The essay echoes, after a fashion, John Dominic Crossan’s sarcastic label “The Age of Entertainment.” Is there a difference? Cannot any and all poetry find a home in it?
- Paul Valéry is cited as an innovator. His poetic masterpiece, Le Cimetière marin, duplicates the meter of France’s heroic epic, La Chanson de Roland. Does Valéry’s reviving a verse form out of fashion for seven centuries detract from his poem in any age?
- In what forms did Victor Hugo’s politically engaged poetry remain very popular in its own time?
- Is the essay reductionist? Does it call for form to be abandoned in favor of pure current-events content? Is such a thing possible even in totalitarian poster art or in graffiti? If new forms of poetry are called for, what are they? Does the essay square or conflict with Bewildering Stories’ official motto: “Poems are not made with ideas, they are made with words”?
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?