Tuesday, 5 March 2013
" 'Earth's no place for a live man to live any more. Fine for Mary, not for me. It's not unfair to either of us. We get together often enough, considerin' that we'll never grow old. Between whiles, I can remember...' " (p. 16)
Earth is no place for the living but fine for Mary because Mary is dead. They'll never grow old because he has the antithanatic and she has died. Valland visits a grave. He remembers all the time.
The narrator of the novel did not know this when he conversed with Valland but does know it when he narrates. Like the author, he keeps the surprise till the end. And we forget this early conversation unless and until we reread the novel.
Anderson readers, reread! You have nothing to lose but insufficient appreciation of well-crafted stories and novels.