FIND in
<--prev V1 next-->

From: Jason Voegele <voegele.6@osu.edu>
Subject: (urth) PEACE
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 01:33:05 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Hello everybody.  I'm new here so I hope I'm not retreading any old ground,
but I do have a few questions/observations.

Having determined that Weer is in fact dead, it seems to me that an
important question to ask is does he *know* that he is dead, or does he
believe that he is a dying man whose imagination has the power to conjure
(real or imagined) elements of his past?  To quote part of a conversation
Weer has with Dr. Van Ness:  

Dr.: "Do you feel you can control the whole world--just with your mind?"
Weer: "Not the real world--but this world, yes.  In the real world I am an
elderly man, sick and alone, and I can't  do anything about that.  But this
world--your only world now, Van Ness--I have conjured from my imagination
and my memories.  This interview between us never took place, but I wanted
advice about my stroke."

This passage seems to support the latter, but there is the fact that Weer
is--and knows--that he is utterly alone in this world.

Whichever case is true, this book is a showcase for the solipsistic tendency
in Wolfe's writing, which ties in with Wolfe's use of stories as shapers of
memory and thus reality.  In fact, PEACE (or at least one layer of the
"PEACE onion") seems to be saying that all of existence is held within
memories.  This would explain Severian's ability warp reality (via the
"claw") due to his eidetic memory.

Another question relates to this passage:

"Who's that behind you?"
"It's just little Den, Katie.  He's been there before."
"Yes, but there's another, dimmer yet, behind him."
"I can only see the one behind me, Katie."

Why is "little Den" a ghost (so to speak) in this scene?  And who is it
behind him?

One more question.  Has there been a discussion on THE FIFTH HEAD OF
CERBERUS?  If so, is it available in an archive somewhere?

PEACE be with you,
Jason Voegele

<--prev V1 next-->