Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The Other Eye of Polyphemus" by Harlan Ellison

I have, once again, been remiss in my postings. In fact, I'm farther behind in postings than ever before, with a full six days worth of stories to do. As such, I'm not going to bother trying to apologize for my lazy ass, and get right down to it.

"The Other Eye of Polyphemus" focuses on a man who seems doomed to constantly provide others with what they need, emotionally and sexually, without ever getting what he needs in return. After a very bizarre experience with ethereal people (ghosts?), he seems to come to terms with ability, and, as we are told at the end of the story "he went to get something warm; he went to get what he needed."

This is an admittedly simplistic rundown of this story, which has more layers than I really have the space to explore here. For example, why does Ellison choose the reference to Polyphemus, one of the mythical cyclopes, and his "other eye." Is the man in the story supposed to living a life where he lacks perspective, perhaps. Is he Polyphemus, and does he learn to see through his "other eye" (or, perhaps more appropriately, both his "eyes," seeing both perspectives at once)? I'm not entirely sure, and I fear I lack the knowledge in cyclopean myth to come to a proper conclusion

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