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Surprise Endings

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To the editors:

In the front of the Reader [Hot Type, December 11] it's surmised that the breakup of Harold Washington's coalition can be linked directly to the late mayor's overweight condition. It's assumed that slim healthy-looking people don't sometimes just drop dead. But they sadly do. At the back of the Reader, same issue [Our Town], the week following the death of Washington is viewed simultaneously as a sports event and a narrative movie. Thereby implying that life imitates art, or politics and sports are equally competitive.

I have found a literary correlative. In Philip K. Dick's novel The Man In the High Castle, the author creates a post-World War II America which has been carved up by the Axis powers Germany and Japan. At the end of the novel the protagonist learns that Germany and Japan did not win the war, but lost it.

The irony of that book is with us now, now that Eugene Sawyer has been elected mayor by a majority of city aldermen. Watching the succession where the losers are now in control, and the winners out of power, strikes me as science fiction.

Peter Erickson

Chicago

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