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Women & Men Chapter Discussions > 0677 the message for what it was worth

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (last edited Sep 28, 2012 10:06AM) (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Discuss.

Originally published in Antaeus 48 (Winter 1983).

message 2: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments This one's up next for me. From your sum, I don't recall much, which is cool. One more 'first encounter' for the second time. But that Gita item sounds familiar.

message 3: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments This simple story has so much going on in it, it could possibly serve as a thorough sample of the entire novel. Something brilliantly heartbreaking here.

message 4: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments #2---
First person narrator tells us in his, as other hosts have observed 'somewhat formal style of speaking', of the winter day he attempts to visit his semi-retired therapist, who he was introduced to in the distant past by Mayn (who we see with the two red bearded economists again). On his way to the older therapist's (the therapist's wife has recently died of a blood clot after injuries following a fall off of a latter) home he is approached by a young man holding the Baghdad-Gita. He reports to a woman on the train (still on his way to therapy) that the youth was trying to convert him, and she asks why he assumed that. The narrator may already be a kind of anonymous follower of the kind of Hinduism upheld by the Gita, he believes in multiple gods that 'reside where we may reach them if we will; but they have their lives.' Our narrator arrives at the therapist's house, and immediately recognizes a difference, the old man in a 'lumberjack shirt', bestubbled. Our therapist's family is here early for the holidays, more his now than ever since his wife is dead. He tried to cancel on our narrator earlier. "Do you know I phoned you?" 'I said, like a person of lower rank, that no one had gotten the message.' After being invited in, but realizing he is trying to force 'what [he] had envisioned as [his] time' on their family gathering, our narrator returns home to his wife and tells her about his day.

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