Sometimes when I read a story, I will picture the characters as if they were played by real-life actors and actresses. This makes the story unwind in my mind more effortlessly. For instance, in "Fifth Head" I imagined the Narrator was Johnny Depp, the Father was Ian McShane and the Aunt was Patricia Clarkson.
In "A Story," rather than matching actors to characters, I pictured a whole movie as the setting for Sandwalker's world. The stark, gorgeous vista's of Nicolas Roeg's movie "Walkabout" played in my mind as I read.
Roeg's 1971 movie was based on a 1959 book entitled "The Children" about two white kids lost in the Australian outback after a plane crash. They are rescued by an Aboriginal boy on a walkabout. With his help they make it to their civilization. (1)
Now here is the interesting part - "The Children" was written by Donald G. Payne, who went by the pseudonym, wait for it, James Vance Marshall! Payne based his pseudonym on the Australian outback explorer and writer James Vance Marshall (1887-1964.) (2)
I wonder if the movie and/or book served as Wolfe's inspiration for the setting of "A Story?"
You can stream "Walkabout" at the Kanopy website. (3) You may be able to stream for free if your local public library subscribes to the Kanopy service. I was able to stream it because of my University of Illinois faculty appointment.