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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hubris by James Patrick Kelly -- Reader’s Guide

Realms of Fantasy, April 2002

Look again at the definitions of “hubris” the author provides. Come up with at least four examples in this story. Consider all characters and persons who give the text meaning.

How is the unnamed protagonist’s arc in the story like the description he provides in the first paragraph? How is the reader similar?

Why the muse of history?

What is ironic about how the protagonist identifies the other workshop participants by what they wear?

How are all characters like the severed heads (see protagonist’s explanation)? How is the protagonist not like the severed head? What then do these contradict itself? Is contradiction necessarily a bad thing in fiction?

What is the protagonist trying to do by breaking down age into such broad categories (see ending and opening)?

Is the protagonist’s fate horrible?

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