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Farewell Atlantis: 06/01/10

cover art

"Farewell Atlantis" by Terry Bisson begins innocently enough with a couple watching a film in a theater. The man asks the woman if she's seen anyone else: an usher, other audience members. She hasn't. They are alone and somehow they know each other's names even though they don't remember ever having met before.

It's a modern rendition of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. As a film studies student, the Cave comes up frequently in discussion. It's one of the foundations of film theory and there are some similarities between the Cave and the typical movie theater, so it's natural to draw connections between the two. In both cases, the illusion is broken the moment someone decides to look away from the shadows on the wall or worse, exit the cave. That's exactly what Frank convinces Stella to do: leave the theater through the only exit.

From here things go from ancient allegory to more recent Twilight Zone. Frank and Stella go through the process (told in a very lighthearted and humorous fashion) of figuring out who they are and what their purpose is. I don't want to spoil the ending but will say that I loved it.

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