8

At the end of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Leo addresses Blau with the following question:

"Leo'? How come you keep calling me 'Leo'?"

What's the significance of Blau calling Leo "Leo"? Does Leo expect to be addressed as someone (or something) greater than a mere man?

The passage in context:

"Look at my double-dome, my big forehead; I'm a bubblehead, right? And this rind; it's not just on top, it's all over. So in my case the therapy really took. So don't give up yet. Believe in me."

"Okay, Leo."

"Stick around for a while. There'll be action. I may be looking out at you through a couple of Jensen luxvid artificial-type eyes but it's still me inside here. Okay?"

"Okay," Felix Blau said. "Anything you say, Leo."

Leo'? How come you keep calling me 'Leo'?"

Sitting rigidly upright in his chair, supporting himself with both hands, Felix Blau regarded him imploringly. "Think, Leo. For chrissakes think."

"Oh yeah." Sobered, he nodded; he felt chastened. "Sorry. It was just a temporary slip. I know what you're referring to; I know what you're afraid of. But it didn't mean anything." He added, "I'll keep thinking, like you say. I won't forget again." He nodded solemnly, promising.

3

Leo and Felix are both worried that they might still find Palmer Eldritch looking out of their eyes. Leo begins by reassuring Felix, that no matter what changes he'll go through he'll still be himself, then he seems almost immediately to lose track of his identity.

But they can only reassure each other so far, and so the novel ends on a note of ambiguity.

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