Monday, October 24, 2016

"He's Not the Funny Sort, Is He?"

"The Passing of 'Third Floor Back.'"
By Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927).
First appearance: The Saturday Evening Post, November 19, 1904.
Reprinted in Passing of the Third Floor Back (1908); The Argosy (UK), December 1926; The Golden Book Magazine, January 1927; and AHMM, January 1995.
Play version, 1908 (HERE); filmed in 1918 and 1935 (HERE—WARNING: SPOILERS).
Short story (19 pages).
Online at SFFAudio (HERE) (PDF) and Project Gutenberg (HERE).
(Note: Title sometimes listed as "The Passing of 'The Third Floor Back.'")
"Really, the man quite haunts me."
Perfect understanding can make us uncomfortable, even fearful, but while the truth can be awful, the pain never lingers for very long.
Main characters:
~ The stranger, Mrs. Pennycherry, Mary Jane, and the boarders at 48 Bloomsbury Square.
Comment: This one, something of an allegory, never goes where you think it might, with the only mystery being just who—or what—the young stranger is, and the only crimes being how normal it seems for us to mistreat others—and ourselves.
Typo: "'You have been misinformed,' assured him the stranger"

The bottom line: "Fear hath torment."
The Bible

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