I just went through your two podcasts regarding 'A Story' by John V Marsch, and let me first start by saying their were some fantastic observations in podcast. Especially the second podcast where you went through the evolving religious divide on Saint Anne.
I generally communicate with you guys through twitter, but this my time my observations have become so long, that I have decided to write a post about it on the forum.
Following are some of my observations
1. Sand walker confuses the gift of priest and the dreams that as Eastwind, the priest’s gift is interesting because not only can sand walker who has lived all his life in hills can swim as good as an otter, but he can also remember the safe places of the otter, he can also catch fish and duck as an otter does.
This transformation is really fascinating, but the question which I have is, can Sandwalker now can absorb memories of a dead creature, or was this for one time only ?
2. Are the marsh men hunting shadow children? and was this the significant event which last voice discussed with Eastwind?
I think this is definitely the event which Lastvoice was talking to Eastwind about, where in they capture Sandwalker.
3. Sand walker when he says he can melt into the ground and make this sleeping place, and next time when he says that he slept at a place where few shrubs can grow, is clearly referring to he camouflaging himself against the ground so that he can’t be discovered, so basically a sleeping place can mean a place where the hilly men have such a huge camouflage going that it can’t be discovered by anyone. Also the marsh men have to form a circle while finding sand walker such a complete transformation or camouflage, sand walker is capable of.
Although this was the first question which you guys discussed in the podcast, but I think something is definitely going on regarding how the hill men are able to vanish in places which can be easily be found by someone.
4. The shifting stars the marsh men observed in their rivers are they spaceships which are coming to Saint Anne?
5. Sand walker also feels an contemptuous presence above the clouds, is he sensing the aliens on space ships?
I am interpreting this as aliens observing the species on Saint Anne, and preparing to land on Saint Anne. Also it can mean that there exists two completely different spiritual realms on hills and in marsh.
6. Also the marsh men seemed to be reading the stars to find a fate of their own, so they seemed a bit advanced as an society, but sandwalker’s society seemed to be treating the human body as existence of god, so he accuses of east wind of defiling it by killing flying feet.
I interpreted the accusation of Sandwalker as Eastwind violated god's own creation by killing flying feet for selfish purposes, but this open for interpretation.
7. When east wind says to sand walker that they both are same, makes me remember Maitre and the discussion number five have with Dr Marsch.
Is this our link to first story, and is this what Maitre and his subsequent generations trying to reproduce ?. But Maitre has some selfish motive behind it, and here these two brothers have a spiritual connection with each other, which can be produced artificially ?
8. I think the basic difference between the marsh men and the hill men is that, the hill men think that god is within us and can be found in nature, and maybe that’s why they revere trees which is a sort of oasis for them in high place, and the marsh men are trying to find god in sky, so they give a great importance to the stars and sky walking.
9. Everything in nature is made up of five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Knowledge of the five elements allows the yogi to understand the laws of nature and to use yoga to attain greater health, power, knowledge, wisdom and happiness. This arises out of deep intuition of how the universe operates.
10. I think the abos especially the hill men are on the right path regarding the concept of god, because they operate with harmony in nature and the shadow children actually can teach them how to manipulate these elements and transcend to higher level of consciousness. The marsh people are going in exactly opposite direction by doing things forcibly like castrations of their star walkers, then drowning people to get more knowledge or eating the flesh of shadow children or hill people.
I think Marsch is trying to show us the evolution of religion on Saint Anne, but what is his purpose until now I am not quite sure about it.
Welcome to the forum! As always, you make some awesome observations.
1. I think this was a one-time-only deal, but I'll keep the rest of my thoughts for revelations in the wrap-up episodes.
2. Right, the significant event is the capture of Sandwalker, but I think that the action Lastvoice and Eastwind discuss is the capture of Sandwalker's family, who now are bait for Sandwalker to walk into their trap. It's the exact plot of The Empire Strikes Back in which Skywalker has the exact same vision while he is training with a magical priest in a cave.
3. Brandon has a LOT of thoughts about sleeping places, and other readers also have suggested that there is something physiological happening at the sleeping places -- perhaps the Hill People need to derive nutrients from lying in certain types of soil.
6. I agree that Sandwalker is angry about the murder and that this, too, is probably a violation of God's ideal in some way. God was the king who enforced peace on Sainte Anne, after all.
7. Yes, exactly. The twins here, like the clones in the first novella, point to the question of the role of nature and nurture in shaping our personalities. We're going to have a lot to say about this in our final wrap-up of the whole novel.
9. I'm interested in the addition of "space" here. What is meant by that? How does it differ from air? And can this be related back to the notion of "shaking extension"?
10. I agree that the Marshmen seem to be doing things wrong. They are heretics, at least from the perspective of the protagonist, and so we might also see that other choices they are making are heretical. And some of these choices are the first steps toward building civilization, which is at complete odds with the God's original intention for humans as we're told in Genesis.