“‘The explanation for this is that the world inhabited by these beings is not the world we inhabit. It is another world entirely, and it is enclosed within this one; it is in a sense a universal retreating mirror image of this one, with a peculiar geography I can only describe as infundibular.’ He paused for effect. ‘I mean by this that the other world is composed of a series of concentric rings, which as one penetrates deeper into the other world, grow larger. The further in you go, the bigger it gets.'”  (Little, Big, I.ii)

This idea occurs again in John Crowley’s series Aegypt, in which one character draws concentric rings and explains that the the outmost ring is God and the innermost point is God as well. Smoky’s journey is a journey inward, to the heart of Edgewood, to the heart of Daily Alice, towards the infinite.

Somehow the love letters written and exchanged by Smoky and Daily Alice made their love seem real,

“Her address was ‘Edgewood, that’s all,’ George Mouse said, and and they had no phone; and so because he had no choice, Smoky sat down to make love through the mails with a thoroughness just about vanished from the world.” (Little, Big, I.i)

Not only letter-writing, but now even a belief in and desire for true love seems to have died out. Perhaps the two are connected.


About Joseph Burke

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