* NOTICE: Mr. Center's Wall is on indefinite hiatus. Got something to say about it? Click HERE and type.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


  1. Why do the inhabitants prefer the city represented in the postcards?  What influence does the nature of the postcard have--on the city, or, generically, on anything?  Is there a difference between a postcard and, say, a regular photograph in its ability to depict a time or place?  What would happen (stay with me here) if memory worked both directions, toward the future as well as the past, and there were postcards of present Maurilia available for past Maurilians to examine?
  2. For some reason this reminds me (story and movie) of Benjamin Button.
  3. The second paragraph of the vignette discusses how two cities can exist simultaneously--two cities which are one city: one place, one name (same citizenry??), two cities.  Maybe this is going out on a limb, but if each vignette is a puzzle piece, what clue might Maurilia offer toward anticipation of the final, completed picture?  Does it have to be just two cities in one, or could the number be even potentially infinite within the confines of one geographic space and one name?
  4. By extension (and this against the end of the first sentence of paragraph two), is it possible for there to be two or more people with the same body and the same name (and no, this is not an issue of schizophrenia or multiple personalities)?  And further, families, schools, countries, teams, gods, etcetera?
  5. The final lines of the vignette tie back to the first question: is it just the nature of the postcard, that it describes a fiction rather than a reality, or is there truly a second city existing in the same plane and plot as the other Maurilia?


  1. 1. I think that it's the whole, "Things were always better in my day," sort of attitude. If the people in the past saw postcards from the future, they'd probably be pretty excited about the possibilities.
    2. I suppose both of them kind of speak of the painfulness of change and the passage of time.
    3. Don't the cities exist at different times? I took it to mean that, for example, the Midland of 2008 might be a very different city than the Midland of 2011 (it's not in this case :) ), even though the city and the people's names are the same.
    4. Certainly. I'm certainly not the same person who I was a few years ago, and I don't expect to be the same person who I am now in the future.
    5. That's a great question. The postcard is the idealized past. Like when people talk about how great the '50s were. Well, yeah, if you weren't African American. In reality, just about every age has its flaws as well as its strengths. So I think it's quite possible that the city really wasn't quite as different (or at least quite as much better) as the postcards would have you believe.

  2. 1. Exactly what I thought--that and the grass-is-always-greener-over-there thing.
    3. Here's where I think the bit about the postcards changing things--framing reality falsely. The city/time the postcard represents doesn't exist anymore--or ever did--because the postcard city isn't and never was real. It's idealizes it or makes it overly fanciful. What you see in the postcard is not the reality of the past but an out-of-context image of a very small portion of that past, whose boundaries, if they could be extended beyond the 3x5 confines of the paper, would not be anything like what the real streets and buildings and people once were. I think.
    4. Yeah. For me that's an awfully big thank-goodness!
    5. Exactly!

  3. 3. Yeah, I think that you're right.


Be sure to subscribe to the thread to receive discussion updates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...