That was an awesome episode, guys. I feel after listening to that as I usually feel after reading a Wolfe story: I need to go through that again.
I found the explanation of the two frogs, the religious redemption of Peter, etc, incredibly convincing. But I wasn't quite sure you two thrashed through the basic questions of the story re: what is the relationships between Pete and Peter? Who if anyone is the Changeling? You sort of said a lot about it but didn't quite hash it out. (I have no answers as of now. But I may end up rereading the story & then relistening to the podcast, and maybe reading Aramini on it too...)
One further tidbit I'd love to get people's opinion on. "The Changeling", as you note, was published in ORBIT; Knight chose it for republication in THE BEST OF ORBIT, a selection from volumes 1-10. He quotes from a letter he sent to Wolfe about the story. He writes "I have read "The Changeling" again, and still can't sort it out into one consistent, linear, daylight-logic pattern, but have concluded 'm not supposed to, so I had better just shut up and buy it. It seems to mean something to me, although I would hate to have to explain what, & the whole thing hangs together so tightly that I can't imagine wanting you to change a word." (p. 134) So, first of all, the editor himself DIDN'T FEEL HE UNDERSTOOD THE STORY. That makes me feel better.
But here's the kicker. Knight adds: "Years later, during a slightly drunken party in Madeira Beach, Gene whispered to me, "The old man is dead, you know." And then I understood it." (Ibid.) So, ok: this is a Gene Wolfe story (about, not by, but still), so we have to look for unreliable narrators & question our premises: Did Knight hear/remember this accurately? Was Knight right in assuming that Wolfe meant *this* story and not some other one? etc. But let's set that all aside for now. Whatever happened, Knight at least *thought* that Wolfe was talking about this story, AND THAT THAT FACT EXPLAINED IT. So forget briefly about whether not it DOES explain the story. What was Knight THINKING it meant/added? (The old man has to be Papa, right? No other old man in the story. Is there reason to think he might be dead? What does it mean if he does?
I sometimes wonder if my utter inability to make sense of this particular Wolfe story is because I first read it in BEST OF ORBIT, and that that comment (appearing right before the story) over-shadowed my interpretation. Still: what does it mean?
I'm devouring these as fast as I can find the time to read the stories & listen to them. They're awesome. Thanks to you both.