FIND in
<--prev V10 next-->

From: Craig Christensen <2644@mn3.lawson.lawson.com>
Subject: (urth) Suzanne Delange
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 09:08:00 

After reading Suzanne Delange I looked for Spanish Influenza information,   
to date when the characters were in high school.  Of course I was   
surprised to learn that the Spanish Influenza occurred in 1918 during the   
first World War.  This certainly doesn't seem to be the correct period   
for the characters' high school years.  Interestingly, several sites made   
the observation that the epidemic has been almost completely wiped from   
the world's memory.

I took this quote from   
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/amex/influenza/trackers.html.  Perhaps the   
quote by Mencken is the very quote that sparked the short story.

(quote) Those learning for the first time of the devastating consequences   
of the worldwide 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic--or pandemic--typically   
respond with two questions: How could they have never heard of a   
world-wide scourge that killed upwards of 30 million people? And, could   
it happen again?

 Addressing the first question, journalist H.L. Mencken, offered this   
theory in 1956: "The epidemic is seldom mentioned, and most Americans   
have apparently forgotten it. This is not surprising. The human mind   
always tries to expunge the untolerable from memory, just as it tries to   
conceal it while current."(end-quote)

I think that the mention of the Spanish Influenza is a major clue to the   
nature of the story.  The narrator has forgotten knowing Suzanne in the   
past; he hasn't simply failed to meet her.  And his relationship with her   
was not minor, it was consequential.

I am willing to concede that the young lady may not be the narrator's   
daughter, but I still like the idea.

I have two questions for the group. First, what is the reference to   
Hamlet?  And second, why the long rambling description of quilt   
collecting?   In such a compact story it must have significance.

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

<--prev V10 next-->