FIND in
<--prev V10 next-->

From: Peter Westlake <peter@harlequin.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Suzanne
Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 01:01:07 +0100

At 16:03 1998/05/08 -0500, Adam wrote:
>On Fri, 8 May 1998 Peter Westlake wrote:
>> Second, the narrator wonders if Suzanne belongs to any cliques.
>> I think she belongs to at least two: the Pie Club, and one other
>> group of people, mentioned in the story.
>Which?  The "dazzlingly beautiful ones"?  That's certainly what one
>interpretation of Suzanne's daughter's appearance, but see below.

No, the ones who don't show up in photographs.

>> Here's the sentence, and in particular the phrase, that still
>> gives me the shivers:
>>    Suzanne is listed among those "Unable to be photographed".
>> And the girls in the Pie Club photo are too loosely grouped to
>> be identified easily. But I bet they wouldn't have looked that
>> way at the time .... when you could see Suzanne.
>I hate to pour cold water on your theories, especially since this story
>has always mystified me.  But if, as you seem to be implying, Suzanne is
>some sort of supernatural being who doesn't show up in photographs, I
>think the narrator would have heard about it and remembered it, along with
>the entire town.

I did wonder about that myself. But as Craig has just reminded us,
the story starts with the narrator reading about the idea that
everyone has had some truly extraordinary experience and forgotten
all about it. Mirrors might be more of a problem.

And if Suzanne had been absent from the Pie Club photo,
>instead of just unidentifiable, wouldn't the narrator have noticed that
>the caption contained one too many names?  I think "loosely grouped" means
>only that the girls are posed as if in the middle of cooking, rather than
>lined up in rows as is usual.

It would depend on what and who was in the background, I think.

However ... looking again, I see that the narrator isn't quite
certain of the name of the Pie Club. So maybe Craig is right
and it is the "Pudding Club" instead! Suzanne's daughter is only
about fifteen, so that would mean the story takes place only
about sixteen years after high school, and we are told the
narrator has retired; but "much sooner than most men", so it
might still work.

One more small bit of evidence for the supernatural theory,
and the vampire theory in particular, is the way the narrator's
mother is so exhausted by her trips with Suzanne's mother,
but is always so keen to go again. Not much to go on, I admit.

Another theory is that Suzanne never was at the school, and
her mother didn't die while the narrator was at college, but
rejuvenated herself and then invented a high school career
to account for her appearing on the scene in her teens. Then
we really *do* meet her at the end. I'm not entirely convinced
by this, though.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

<--prev V10 next-->