Wow. I'm not sure where to start (I think Delany would consider that a literary victory on his part), but I will try:
- Where or what is Bellona?
- What is the Kid's real name?
- How is Kid's state of mind portrayed? Is he insane?
- How are gender roles portrayed in the book?
- Who or what is Roger Calkins? Who or what is Ernest Newboy? What role they play in creation and publication of Kid's poems?
- Did Jack kill Paul Fenster?
- What about the all the sex; is it necessary?
- Dhalgren was begun in 1968. How might the political events of that time influenced its subject matter?
- What are some the other ambiguities that are never resolved (e.g., the red eyes, the scratch on many of the female characters calves, etc.)? Do these have a function within the story?
Here's a literary biography of Delany written by himself under a penname. Towards the end is an extensive bibliography of critical texts dealing with his work.
We'll be meeting to discuss this book January 15th at the Main Library in Conference Rm 3 at 6pm. Feel free to bring food and drink.