On Mar 16, 12:14 pm, shredofmart...@gmail.com wrote: > I just got done reading this story and was a bit perplexed at the end too. I think, as a user posted above me, that this is more of a mood piece focusing on the philosophy of our existence and our search into "the great unknown." I took it as more Shervane representing our general quest for knowledge. His teacher stating that what is seen on the otherside will drive one mad refers moreso to the frustration that ensues when the answers we find are more confusing, unexplainable, and sometimes less climactic than the questions and ideas we initially set out for and hoped to find. By traveling to the other side of the Wall of Darkness, Shervane hoped to be awakened and enlightened beyond his human ignorance. Through his quest, he was seeking order, meaning, and patterns in our, essentially, existential chaos. As he finds out, like most humans do, there are no patterns we can see with our narrowminded thinking and no clear cut answers as to why we are here, and what happens when we cease to exist. Essentially,it is a journey we will all take alone throughout our lives as Shervane did in the story. =================================================
Thanks for bringing this thread up again which I hadn't seen when it first appeared. I didn't know Clarke had written such a story with such a highly abstract mathematical topic at its focus. As the others mentioned, I think Clarke just wanted to write a story based on the topological concept of a "one-sided" surface.