Ernest Kim

January 15, 1999

Post #795 – 19990115

Hello Mr. DMPinkwater,

I was re-reading the Avocado of Death last night and i noticed some things that i’d never noticed before. My question is: Is Walter Galt’s father secretly Osgood Sigerson? For the first time, I took notice of the fact that they’ve never met, not even at the Avocado Fancier’s meeting, and that Mr. Galt keeps his collar buttons in a NOSE PUTTY tin! I was so excited about this (possible) discovery that I called up my friend Kirthi, and she said “You should TOTALLY write Daniel Pinkwater and ask him.” (She sent you a book to sign for me for my birthday back in September or so.)

Please respond, even if it’s to say “Why would I give that away? Mysteries are good and nice,” or even to say “They are fictional characters, they can be whatever I want them to be when I’m writing them,” or even “I am very busy. Leave me alone.” Ever since my unanswered letter to Lynda Barry, I’ve been wary of writing to my literary heroes. (Though Kirthi got a very nice response when she wrote to her, on a postcard with Marlys on it.)



Ernie Kim

Daniel replies:

Works of art are subject to interpretation--that's part of what they are. Any reader is entitled to any conclusions. I don't have to comment, and may not even know. I will say this: In the Lifeline Theater production in Chicago, not only does Walter's father turn out to be Sigerson, but Mrs. Galt turns out to be Sacker. Few people comment on this aspect of that book.

Even fewer seem to know that just before publication Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was still calling his characters Sherrinford Holmes, and Dr. Ormond Sacker. And Sigerson was an alias Holmes used during his travels when thought to be dead, after Reichenbach Falls.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Kim, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.