Post by danielottojackp on May 14, 2012 12:38:14 GMT
Maybe it says something about trusting in finite gods for salvation, about building 'enlightened' monuments of culture to these gods (as the rodents do with their miniature arts and architecture, etc.)?
Lafferty wrote that the entirety of his work was a 'jigsaw puzzle' that the reader had to collaborate with him in putting together. This story exemplifies that in miniature I think. Here are few more pieces of the puzzle that are intriguing but difficult to place:
The main character, Gretchen, is the one most utterly and totally terrified of death and yet she dies relieved of that terror: 'The fear and horror went out of Gretchen Schrik's face in a twinkling instant. A calmness and a patient serenity came over her instead... And there was no slight trace of fear on her dead face.'
The doctor, Rudisijl, the champion of scientific enlightenment, says in the end, in contrast to the rodents: 'But I am a post-person, and there is no one I can pray to.' And he then comes to his horrific end, as you know.
Indeed, there are a good handful of narrative and character trajectories in tension in this story. It's very unsettling. But unsettling is by no means always a strictly negative quality.