Layers Within Layers

I’m beginning to appreciate Wright’s Night Land stories the more I read them (the first two are still the best though, with apologies to “The Last of All Suns” fans). They have an incredible amount of depth to them. Particularly cool is how Wright connects “Cry of the Night-Hound” with the Greek tragedy “Antigone” but twists the ending to change the story from a tragedy to a triumph, and in a way that makes sense.

Each time I re-read the stories I end up discovering something new. Here’s a good example: i was recently re-reading “Awake in the Night”, and had gotten to the section where Telemachos describes what happened to the search party that went looking for Hellenore. I had a conversation that went like this:

Me: Wow, 300 suitors went looking after her. I wonder why Wright went that high?

Other Person (OP): Well, the names are all Grecian in nature, right?

Me: Looks like it.

OP: And the second story is a close adaptation of “Antigone”, right?

Me: Yes.

OP: Well, her name s Hellenore. She’s supposed to be Helen of Troy

Me: …

It just goes to show you just how much Wright put into these stories. The number of connections to classical mythology and Christian thought is amazing. What an impressive work of fiction.

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