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Themes

The high level of artifice in "The Return of Chorb" creates an other-worldly atmosphere. Because the story includes references to myth (the tale of Orpheus) and legend (the opera Parsifal), reality is suspended for the reader; we enter a spectral world of shadows and eerie lights, full of allusions and skewed parallels. Harsh switches in point-of-view throw the reader further off balance, reminding us that this is no ordinary reality.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. How is Chorb’s "quest" similar to mythical or epic tales (like Orpheus or Parsifal), and where does it differ?
  2. Does Chorb successfully complete his "quest" by the end of the story?
  3. Seriously, what is up with that poodle peeing on the Parsifal playbill?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"The Return of Chorb" parodies and mocks both Parsifal and the Orpheus myth.

"The Return of Chorb" parallels and pays homage to both Parsifal and the Orpheus myth.

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