Beyond all doubt, the finest and most exhaustive critical explication of my story "Alethia" is by Dr. Linda Furgerson Selzer, an associate professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, in her recent book Charles Johnson in Context (University of Massachusetts Press, 2009). With advanced degrees in both philosophy and literature, and with a scholar's background in black American history and culture, Dr. Selzer delivers a reading of that particular work that explores every note and nuance, and almost every philosophical level and allusion in the text. There are times when I read her critical examination of this story, and my other stories and novels, that I get the uncanny feeling she sometimes understands my thought processes and creative decisions better than I do. Her analytic powers at play on the page are a wonder to behold. They set a very high standard for what literary scholarship should be. So there is very little that I can add to her superb examination of "Alethia."
As Dr. Selzer's analysis makes clear, "Alethia" is a short story very much informed by the phenomenological tradition. I strongly recommend her analysis for readers.