Talk:Dhalgren

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I hate the summary[edit]

... and I always have. Can someone help me to construct something better?

"The story can be read as a circular text much like the epic work, Finnegans Wake by James Joyce."

True, but not that important.

"What follows is an extended and increasingly hallucinatory trip through Bellona -- a city divorced from reality and reason."

These words give an impression of the novel that is simply not true. It is not 'hallucinatory' in the standard drug-meaning of the term; the novel is the MOST grounded in actual, physical reality of any I've read. The 'divorced from reality and 'reason' is the worst kind of hyperbole and actually says nothing.

"Cut off from the rest of the country, the city is a place unlike any other."

Not exactly encyclopedia-style.

"Another moon appears in the evening sky, the size of the sun appears to change markedly during a day, street signs and landmarks shift constantly, and time appears to contract and dilate."

True, but the hyperbolic phrasing foregrounds what is LEAST important -- the facts -- and leaves out what is most important and carefully delineated in the novel: the reaction of the characters to these events.

"The few people left in Bellona struggle with survival, boredom, and each other."

Finally, a sentence I can agree with!

"He begins the novel apparently awakening from unconsciousness,"

?? Not true, as far as I can tell.

"He has extremely unusual urges, including necrophilic tendencies (which rise when another character dies). "

Completely wrong! A horrible misreading of a single sentence! Very misleading!

"It is not until the final chapter of Dhalgren that the meaning of the entire experience is laid out, and even then it is elusive."

In no sense is the meaning of the experience laid out in any way, not even an elusive one.

I really want to make this better. Who is in?

Sevenstones 21:47, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


How's this for a revisal of the summary:


The story begins with a well-known passage:

to wound the autumnal city.

So howled out the world to give him a name.

The in-dark answered with wind.

What follows is an extended trip through Bellona, a mythical Mid-Western city cut off from the rest of the world by some unknown catastrophe. Whatever has befallen Bellona prevents all but verbal information from entering or leaving the city, and may have created a rift in space-time: Another moon appears in the evening sky, the size of the sun appears to change markedly during a day, street signs and landmarks shift constantly, and time appears to contract and dilate. The few people left in Bellona struggle with survival, boredom, and each other. It is their reactions to (and dealing with) the strange happenings and isolation in Bellona that are the true focus of the novel, rather than the happenings themselves.

The story's narrator is a nameless, left-shoeless drifter nicknamed "Kid" (also referred to as "the Kid", "Kidd", or just "kid"). He appears to be schizophrenic: Not only does the novel begin in what is most likely schizoid babble (which returns at various points in the novel), there are references to memories of a stay in a mental hospital, and his perception of the "changes in reality" is inconsistent with the other characters'. He also seems to have suffered significant memory loss, which also recurs throughout the story. Poet, hero, liar, Kid may be a realization of the very instincts of the city itself.

It is not until the final chapter of Dhalgren that the entire experience is laid out. The rubric running through that final chapter contains the following sentence:

I have come to to wound the autumnal city.

The story ends:

But I still hear them walking in the trees: not speaking.

Waiting here, away from the terrifying weaponry, out of the halls of vapor and light, beyond holland into the hills,

I have come to

As with Finnegans Wake, the unclosed closing sentence can be read as leading into the unopened opening sentence, turning the novel into an enigmatic circle. Delany himself has written about the novel (both under his own name and under the pseudonym K. Leslie Steiner, the bulk of which is collected in The Straits of Messina (1989), ISBN 0-934933-04-9), and has stated that it is meant to be a circular text with multiple entry points -- those points being the schizoid babble that appears in various sections. Hints along those lines are given in the novel, the most obvious being the point where Kid hears ". . . grendal grendal grendal grendal . . ." going through is mind and suddenly realizes he was listening from the wrong spot: he was actually hearing ". . . Dhalgren Dhalgren Dhalgren . . ." over and over again. Additionally, the doubled "to" created by joining the end of the novel to the beginning is quite intentional. Not only confirmed by the clue found in the rubric of the final chapter, but by Delany: "The 'to to' was very much intended, from the beginning." (In correspondence)


--Kdring 21:03, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, FWIW, I went ahead and made the changes. I ended up removing the specific mention of "to to" as I felt it did not flow well with the rest of the description. --Kdring 21:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I want to take issue with the phrase "a mythical Mid-Western city cut off from the rest of the world by some unknown catastrophe." I would like to see evidence from the book that specifically supports a reading that it is in the US Mid-West. As I remember reading Dhalgren, the encounter where the Kid and some people discuss where they are from, both "San Francisco" and "New York" are described as "that's a long way away". To my adolescent self at the time, I was puzzled as to where this where could be. If I'd been less provincial, I might have imagined that the North Pole or South Pole could be "far away" from both of those places. But I think Delany does want his reader to "split the difference" and simply infer that the story must be set in something like Missouri. However, later in the book, when the clouds part and we see two moons, I was thoroughly baffled by this. I wondered if there wasn't an artificial moon up there, etc. And then I realized, "No, the book is set on Mars." Bellona is the Roman consort of the Roman Mars. And Mars is, indeed, far away from either New York or San Francisco. There are, of course, two moons over Mars; and the swollen sun is Sol post-red Giant. I've carried this notion around with me for more than 30 years now, and I've never met anyone else who ever concluded this also, which is very weird to me. I'm not crediting myself with brilliant insight at all--I liked Dhalgren best for the homoerotic imagery, which I'd never encountered in a book before. So, I'm asking, where is the definitive evidence that the book is set in on Earth (in the Midwest), or is that just a presumption? It might be original research to say it is set on Mars, but it would at least be accurate not to say it is set in the Midwest if it is not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Talastra (talkcontribs) 06:51, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it's there, but inferred rather than explicitly stated. There are phrases such as "up from" one place, and "over from" another. The woman in the opening scene has an accent that is described as "musical Mid-western standard" (that's from memory, so forgive me if I got it slightly wrong). I think there's even a passage in the novel that states the city is at "the center of the country" or some such. If anything can be inferred about the twin moons (or the swollen sun that is surely from billions of years in the future) it's that there is something wrong with time, there. The city is, perhaps, no longer directly in our time continuum. Two moons are seen because the clouds part to different days, years, or even millenia. (If you recall, the two moons were in the same area of sky, but one was crescent and the other full. Simply not possible, even if you're on Mars.)Kdring (talk) 18:19, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Question[edit]

"Nevertheless, in a rather stunning exemplar of Murphy's Law, the early submission by Delany of a mistaken correction to the publisher and the publisher's prompt (if promptly forgotten) response led, months later, to the inadvertent introduction of the single worst, most meaning-obliterating multi-paragraph error in the novel's entire convoluted publishing history, an error that Vintage has failed to correct in subsequent printings"

Could someone elaborate, as to what the error is? Or, where one could find some documentation of the error? 217.149.126.59


Article sequence[edit]

Maybe we should move the Publishing History section to the end of the article? Though interesting, its relevance is questionable and its length is daunting for someone (like me) who came here to find out about the novel.

New Orleans is on the way to become Bellona[edit]

Also a moon named George (W. Bush) would fit very well


I took down this spoiler, or what I think was a spoiler anyway. Interested parties can look at the history of this page, I think.

I don't think it was a spoiler, but I do think it was ludicrously wrong. On another subject, I strongly disagree with the claim that in the final chapter the meaning of the entire experience is laid out, even ambiguously. Gibson is right, the riddle is not solved. Would there be cries of anguish if this were removed? Tim Bray 07:21, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I added "kid" as one of the spellings of Kid's name. While it does make the name in its myriad forms look ridiculously complicated, I think that's the point. His apparent youth is an important part of the story. Anyway, I might just be being anal. The lesbian 19:42, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Edit comment inserted in the body of the article?[edit]

"Unprejudiced view of byplay between life concepts, aesthetics, ethics, and sexuality set in conditions that are intended by the author to be difficult to generalise accurately."

This looks like either a comment, or like it's missing half a sentence. BTW, re: author's intent: did Delany say this? I thought (and this is NOTHING but IMHO) that one of the novel's central conceits, (which Delany looks at over and over again the the post-Dahlgren Neveryon stories) is the complete subjectivity of experience, i.e., the sheer impossibility of an "unprejudiced view". --Silverlake Bodhisattva 4 July 2005 23:05 (UTC)

Two "to"s at end and beginning[edit]

The last word in the book is "to", as is the book's first word. This gives the phrase: "I have come to to wound the autumnal city". Two "to"s. This repetition is too obvious to be accidental. After all, he could have finished the book with "I have come". Then it would have flowed nicely across the gap. So why didn't he?

The use of this exact wording, complete with the two "to"s, occurs in another place in the book: amongst the later sections where there are additional notes printed down the sides of the pages, as though written in the margin of Kid's own notebook. On page 806 in my Bantam copy (11th printing, 1978), in the note that begins on that page with the line "an intercallory jamb between Wednesday and" - about halfway down, it reads: "Your rosamundus may mathematik him, but it won't move me one mechanical apple corer. I have come to to wound the autumnal city: the other side of the question is a mixed metaphore if I ever heard one."

I think that by leaving the two "to"s in at either end of the book, while also making sure there were two "to"s included in the margin note version of the memorable "autumnal city" phrase (and why use that particular phrase within the notes, unless it was to draw our attention to its very use in that context), I believe Delany is playing a game with us: he's suggesting that the place where the story's end meets its beginning is no longer necessarily part of the main narrative; it could have become, like Kid and the other residents of Bellona, lost in the margin notes of a chaotic, scattered journal. Reinforcing this notion is the enigmatic comment, made early on in the book, by a girl to Kid that he should think himself lucky he doesn't just exist amongst "the notes in the margin of someone else's notebook". (Possibly I've paraphrased a little, but that's the gist.) (And I think now it might be somewhere in The Anathemata rather than near the beginning of the story.)

I'm sorry I don't have the exact quote or page reference for that one right now; it's buried so deep in that dense narrative that it defies a casual browse so I can't find it, but I'll keep looking. In the meantime I'll hope you think this observation is worth including in the revised entry.


Hope this makes some sort of sense.

Best wishes,

Bob Kingsley


It makes perfect sense, thanks for bothering to sum this up; I think most of us who read the book more than once noticed these and they're deifinitely worth mentioning.
To "come to" is essentially to return to consciousness. The circular sentences thus goes "I have come to to wound the autumnal city". I don't know whether Delany or anyone else has ever pointed this out in print (thus I would not refer to it in the article, since it cannot be referenced). But I've had it at (only) second hand that Delany has been known to make this point orally. I wish I'd heard him say it myself to have a better context. Metamagician3000 10:17, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I've always taken it as poetic license, and as a way of literally forging the link from the end of the novel to the beginning. That repeated to reads musically, not literally ... it underlines that the characters are trapped in a loop, playing out over and over, in the autumnal city. The seeming repetition is merely an echo. Erikacornia (talk) 21:04, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Not crazy about the summary[edit]

It could stand a serious polish. While I don't buy all of Sevenstones' objections, the summary as it stands contains too much hyperbole and too little explanation. So, beyond the proposed changes, anyone got a cleaner, more complete version worked up?Silverlake Bodhisattva 18:14, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Summary, to to, and the error[edit]

I'm in for changing the summary, though I don't know how much help I can be. I do feel the current one misses the mark.

Then there's the "to to" thing. I added to the summary to mention that there's a sentence in the rubric running through Anathemata that reads, "I have come to to wound the autumnal city." In addition to the location in the Bantam version mentioned above, it can be found on page 781 of the Vintage or Wesleyan versions of the book. I asked Chip about this in an email last year, and he said that the doubled "to" was "very much intended, from the beginning." To me, this means the matter bears mentioning.

I believe that the editing/typesetting error is the one regarding the newspaper headline that, when Kid read it correctly, was supposed to read "NEWBOY IN TOWN", but which, when he first read it, looked like it said "NEW BOY IN TOWN". It was early in the novel. Compare the passages that mention the headline in the Bantam and Vintage editions. The Bantam version is correct. Kdring

Post-apocalyptic?[edit]

A category link has been added to Post-apocalyptic novels. While Dhalgren was promoted this way at times, I don't really think it belongs to this category. Thoughts? --Kdring 21:27, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Why not? As I understood, the action set in the city which has gone through (or continues) some catastrophe. Besides, catastrophe affects not only Bellona, it has influence on minds, society and even reality. Thus catastrophe has global and irreversible (apocalyptic) nature. To all attributes it's post-apocalyptic novel. I understand that Delany initially didn't aim to write exactly the apocalyptic novel, but it's just a category for similar fiction. Isn't it? NERV 12:29, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I see your point, but I don't think an apocalypse really applies when the effects are really only confined to a single, isolated city. It's mentioned in the book that there are no problems outside of Bellona. Maybe it's just me, but when I think of apocalypse, I think worldwide, civilization-ending disaster. I'm not, however, going to push the issue, especially as Dhalgren was indeed marketed as a post-apocalyptic novel.--Kdring 16:53, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, I'd say that The Jewels of Aptor is much more a post-apocalyptic story than is Dhalgren. --Kdring 19:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I would say that it is post-apocalyptic, despite its local context, since the fact and ambiguities of the catastrophe are such a central part of the story. There are even implications given by Kid's mental instability that the two mirror each other metaphorically and threaten to be cyclic in nature. "I don't want to be sick again," coupled with the dissolution of his group, the return to chaos in the city, and the final dissolution of the text seem to bear this out. The implication is that even if the outward apocalypse is as localized as the Kid's hinted mental one, it is also just as profoundly affecting to all of the novel's characters. Electric Sharpie (talk) 15:45, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Re: Textual accuracy[edit]

I don't want to insult anyone by adding {{fact}} to this section, but this section begs for an inline note to document this problem. (Can we honestly trust an account this detailed not to be a clever hoax?) Can someone fill this need, or is adding a tag the only way to fix this? -- llywrch 03:17, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Chip has discussed this matter many times over the years in personal appearances. I'll try to dig up some written info on it. There are certainly several errata sheets out there that Chip hands out to people, and they at least address the errors that abound in the various printings. There's a rather long one contained in Straits of Messina which addresses the errors in the final Bantam edition, but there's no major discussion there of the whole printing thing, as I recall. Chip gave me a comb-bound collection of essays, reviews, and other information regarding Dhalgren, and the errata collection there (for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th printings of the Vintage edition) do mention Ron Drummond's work. But this isn't something that is in print in the normal sense -- it's a correction sheet handed out by the author. He has given me permission to put it into electronic form and put it on the web, but I will then not be able to link to it or mention it in the article in any of the edits I do. It will be "original work" at that point -- I'll be too close to it. And anyway, it's not something I'll be getting to immediately, so it's not something that can soon be referenced. As I said, I'll see what I can dig up. --Kdring 18:26, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I did a little research. The publishing history is discussed at length in one of the documents printed at the end of 1984: Selected Letters. It is part of an article that Chip first published in Locus for the tenth anniversary of Dhalgren. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of 1984: Selected Letters, so I have no way to personally verify this. I'll try to get my hands on a copy. Hopefully, though, someone will see this and put a proper reference in. --Kdring 16:30, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and FWIW, I've started work on putting correction information for Delany's work on my website. Here's the link to the Dhalgren page (note that I'm nowhere near finished re-typing the list I have): Dhalgren corrections page
--Kdring 17:57, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Good news. Chip managed to get his figurative hands on a Word version of the corrections for Dhalgren today, and he forwarded them to me. It's a slightly older revision of the corrections to the one I was working from, but 99% of the information was there. So I have managed to get it converted and uploaded to the link I posted above. Feel free to take a look. I will be updating it soon with further revisions as soon as I can get confirmation from Chip.
--Kdring 00:40, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
It's accurate so far as I know as well -- there's no hoax. The question is how much of this is useful in the article. Maybe we could cut it down. Sevenstones 19:02, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Good point. While I know Chip would likely want the information regarding the error at 791[rubric]/16/1-3 kept around, I could see the discussion of this matter being moved somewhere else—perhaps even onto the errata page I'm hosting.Kdring 20:37, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

As detailed as the Textual Accuracy section is, the copy of Dhalgren I'm holding in my hands (Vintage, 2001) does not in fact contain the "most meaning-obliterating multi-paragraph error" - the paragraph has one set of quotation marks and makes sense as printed. Superadvancepet (talk) 20:23, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Which printing do you have? The error is not in the first two printings.Kdring (talk) 21:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Just to confirm, I pulled out one of my Vintage 1st printings and my Vintage 3rd printing and compared them. The paragraph in question is correct in the 1st printing, and is not correct in the 3rd printing. Kdring (talk) 19:11, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Harrison[edit]

There's a topic I think would be a good addition to the article. Something about the fact that George Harrison is going to remind a lot of new readers of _George Harrison_. It's trite, but encyclopedia articles are a good place to find straightforward answers to FAQ-fodder, right? I have always adored the way in which, no, it's utterly nothing to do with the UK dude, the Bellona Harrison is called that because it's just a common name. Since the article talks about resonances with mythology, it might be nice/appropriate to have something about a way in which Delany is not a compulsive alluder, and has the restraint to skip referentiality and use the flat, banal rhythm of real life TOO. It's something we all experience in real life - we don't look for parallels in cause & effect between our co-worker Michael Jackson and the pop star, because, we just don't. But it's a subtle (and wonderful IMO) thing to have in science fiction. Anyhow, I am not writing this myself because... I don't have anything to cite. If I find something, I'll add it, but I hope someone may want to add this in the meantime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.122.192.59 (talk) 08:17, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Then again, The Einstein Intersection was all about mythology and used The Beatles as a major mythological reference. I would guess that, in fact, the name was used with a very specific knowledge of how George's characteristics (as depicted in Dhalgren) would reflect and resonate against the well-known name. I can't imagine the name was simply used to show that there are other people out there with famous names. With everything else in Dhalgren being so meticulously planned and working on so many levels, I can't imagine that George's name was not selected without a very specific thought towards the mental dissonance it would create. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kdring (talkcontribs) 04:20, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi Kevin - well, I'm more baffled, in that case. I didn't know about "The Einstein Intersection." I have yet to read it. I can see evidence for both possibilities. ... I don't think, if the purpose of the GH name was for "just" the flat rhythm of no particular connection, that that would mean he was haphazard, or that it's incompatible with a tight attention to detail on Delany's part. He could be very carefully designing a world that feels a certain way- it feels like the reader's own blah world in some ways, which makes the contrast sharper and more exhilarating when you reach something in the story that doesn't. On the other hand, maybe there is a supposed to be a specific reference, a la Einstein Intersection. If so, I'd like to know what the heck it is about. Could it be a red herring, like "the walrus is Paul," to drive people up the wall with curiosity? That would be sort of ironic/funny, if Delany was having a laugh at the expense of obsessives, using an allusion to a band that also inspired endless speculation about what the pieces of the puzzle meant.

At this rate, I may add something short about this subject, without any quotations, and just see if it survives editing. Thanks Kevin 68.122.74.149 03:53, 19 October 2007 (UTC)another Kevin

Well, I'm trying to do my best to get this article up to high Wikipedia standards. It would be best if anything new in the article actually had some sort of reference to back it up. If someone can bring up a reference here on the talk page that actually supports either theory, I'm all for it going up in the article. But until that happens, it really should stay here. Kdring 16:14, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Knowing Delany's passion for mythological refs and sexual symbolism, he was probably trying to draw a parallel between Beatlemania and gang violence and rape. 76.115.59.36 (talk) 19:25, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Mirror, Prism, and Lens[edit]

Am curious as to whether anyone has done any critical work that has taken into consideration the ubiquitious and prevelent wearing of the optic chains, the nature of the character's obtaining them, and their lack of candor when asked by others to describe that event. Are the mirrors, prisms, and lenses a description of their owners unique perceptions? Or are they the method by which Delany perceives and describes?

As to Bellona and the "catastrophe" which struck it, it is interesting to consider what is now often described as the most weak aspect of the novel - its datedness. One must remember that "once upon a time," Bellona (and the characters within it) existed in every American (or world) city and town.RM Gillespie (talk) 03:13, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Accusation Vs. Ellison has Got to Go[edit]

The bit insinuating Harlan Ellison was "angered" by homosexual content on page 361 has got to go. First reason: there are also statements Ellison made that he only got 200 pages in; 361 pages might be a ballpark figure. Second: Ellison gave Delany early exposure (like in Dangerous Visions) and the two remained close friends even after the negative review. Ellison's never been accused of homophobia in any way shape or form and certainly isn't the type to be offended by anything. When he says he was bored, that's exactly what he means. Even people who enjoy Dhalgren will admit it's a boring book. So . . . I'm deleting the incendiary fragment, which in any case is original research and makes assumptions that have no place in the article. 76.115.59.36 (talk) 19:39, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The incendiary fragment being gone is fine, but Ellison is a documented hot-head; he hardly "isn't the type to be offended by anything." The joke at one time was to make a comment about SHORT stories around him (he's short, see?), but his sense of dudgeon is on ample display in his Glass Teat books. Also, the argument that he's not homophobic means he can't be offended by homosexual content in books is spurious. Gay people will frequently hear, "I don't care if you're gay, just don't push it on me." As a species of "don't make me think about it" (the milder version of "don't you dare hit on me"), there's no reason on the face of it to take the evidence of absence (of homophobia) in Ellison for absence of evidence (for repulsion in the face of homosexual imagery). In general, all of this is just to say, obviously. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Talastra (talkcontribs) 06:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of title?[edit]

Is it known where the title comes from? To my Swedish eyes, it looks suspiciously much like a misspelling of the surname Dahlgren. (I suppose a natively English-speaking person might find "Dhal" a less mysterious syllable than "Dahl".) 90.230.192.94 (talk) 11:19, 14 February 2009 (UTC) There is a reference in the book to a list of names, one of which has the last name of Dhalgren. So that would make sense. As to why this particular surname, I've got nothing. 76.210.75.94 (talk) 10:40, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

The title is a clue to the circular (or, really multiple entry point) nature of the novel. At one point, the Kid hears "grendal grendal grendal" going through his mind only to realize he'd been putting the break in the wrong place and had actually been hearing "Dhalgren Dhalgren Dhalgren". This is discussed in several texts about the novel.Kdring (talk) 07:19, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Kdring, but this isn't really answering the question. The OP is asking the significance of "Dhalgren" not how does one derive it from the sequence "grendal". The question involves literary analysis of the text and so needn't be included in the article. The title is one of the more mysterious things of the book, and if all it is getting at is Delany's way to signal the circularity of the book itself, then I'd say Delany chose the title poorly, as it were. Finnegans Wake had no such resource, for instance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Talastra (talkcontribs) 06:37, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
To me it's always been the template for the structure of the circular novel itself: Grendle ... Gren ... Dahl ... Dhal .... Gren .... Dhalgren. IE, the two syllables of the ancient name are cut and reversed, reflecting the text itself, which is fragmented, reordered and circular. The ancient name still has its resonance, but transformed, like every other identity in the story. Inexplicably transformed. Erikacornia (talk) 20:54, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

The blind mexican and mute woman[edit]

I was wondering about these two characters that reoccur throughout the story. The almost appear as characters that shun or are disagreeable with the "protagonist" that is the kid. I am very unsure about that though, and what they're really there for. There seemed to be no mention of them on the wikipedia, and I have yet to read much more literature about the novel yet. (other than this wiki which has been pretty helpful, my thanks goes out to the dedicated editors) So I was wondering if there is any more information that could be put in the wikipedia about these charectors in the novel? Though I guess a lot of the reasons for a lot of the characters have little depth put out on the wiki. Such as Newboy, Calkins, Tak, and most of the scorpions. Also no mention of Kamp? - SW 9/4/09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.24.26.233 (talk) 05:01, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Pedophilia[edit]

I see no mention of the fact that the main character has sexual relations with a 13 year old boy in this novel. Sex with children is a part of several stories by Delany, such as "Hogg" (which has other thematic links to this work). Since this always comes up whenever the novel is discussed, I think more attention to this should be brought up in the article, but I'm not sure how to do it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.40.5.69 (talk) 18:02, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm guessing you're referring to Denny. I think he's older than 13 in the book. 15 or 16 comes to mind. Taking into consideration the fact that age of consent laws were lower in many states back in the 60s and early 70s, the claim of pedophilia doesn't seem to apply to this book. Kdring (talk) 20:29, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Kdring. SethTisue (talk) 14:54, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Other plot omissions[edit]

First, attempting to summarize the plot of such a sprawling novel like Dhalgren into a few thousand words is a difficult task, & the current version is much better than anything I could have done. (Especially since I read the book as a Junior in high school when it first came out, decades ago.) However, I noticed a couple of important points which were left out:

  • I don't remember that the destruction of the city of Bellona is explicitly explained anywhere. (IIRC, towards the beginning of the novel a disaster or some kind of misfortune is said to have happened -- but not much about what it was.) Does this come from the novel itself, or from an external source?
  • The Kidd's homosexual encounter with Tak Loufer is omitted. This does explain the comment later in the article about the Kidd being a bisexual, which at the moment is something of a non sequitor.
  • More attention should be paid to the rape of June Richards by George Harrison. It is frequently alluded to throughout the book by other characters, & is repeated in the final chapter (or seen for the first time thru a temporal shift), & one could say it has assumed a mythic quality in the novel. The first time I read the summary, I had missed its mention & thought it had been omitted entirely.
  • The cover of the first paperback edition illustrates a scene in the novel where the sun manages to shine through the normally overcast skies, appearing swollen & huge. Seeing how there are periodic attempts to purge "ornamental" fair use images, discussing its relationship to the book would prevent it being lost to a misguided effort when no one was watching the article closely enough. -- llywrch (talk) 17:55, 24 May 2010 (UTC)