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The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 01)
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March 2019 Sources
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Road Essays
FF0000: Orphans to the city by way of the interstate

CCFFFF: Siblings to Utopia by Way of the Cornfield: a reading of "Slumber Party.

CCFFCC: Siblings through the maze to utopia

CCFF99: siblings to utopia via the labyrinth

Road Narrative Update for March 2019

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CCFFCC: Siblings through the maze to utopia: 04/18/19

January book sources

The next way for siblings travelers to get to utopia is through the maze. The exemplar for this stop in the spectrum, is Beneath by Roland Smith (2009). Beneath is the first in a duology about a young man who goes to New York to find his brother, Coop. When they were younger, Coop spent all of his free time digging tunnels under their hometown. Now it's rumored that he's doing the same thing under New York City.

Although the novel is told from Pat's point of view exclusively, he always frames his story against his brother's. His journey to, through, and under New York is one of recapitulation. For this reason, Pat and Coop's story counts as sibling travelers.

Sibling travelers don't always have to have their story told in alternating first person nor in a third person omniscient. All that's needed is a narrative sense of family bonding to count for sibling travelers.

If Beneath is about a trip to New York to find an estranged brother, how then does the destination count as utopia? Utopia is a "no place" or more broadly, speaking an unmappable destination. New York does have a vast network of underground tunnels used for a variety of things. Some of those tunnels are abandoned and closed off. But the underground New York that Roland Smith imagines expands these underground features into an entirely different world with its own architecture and culture. The city or any other recognizable destination when it transcends its physical, known bounds, becomes either utopia or uhoria (if the bounds being transcended are temporal rather than physical).

Finally there is the route of Pat and Coop's reunion. First in Pat's flashback's and later in his journey under New York, the tunnels that Coop prefers are full of dangers. There is the threat of cave in. There is the threat of violence from the community. There is the threat of drowning from an underground river. There is an overall threat of getting lost in the dark. With the darkness and the unknowable paths, the routes to and through under New York count as a maze.

Beneath is but one example of how siblings can travel through a maze to get to utopia. Or travel through a maze like utopia, as the case may be in this example.

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