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From: adam louis stephanides <astephan@students.uiuc.edu>
Subject: (urth) Interpreting Peace
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 15:58:05 

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

On Fri, 17 Apr 1998 Paul C Duggan wrote:

> SPOILER WARNING if you haven't read Peace.
> The final story of the geese seems to be crucial for making sense of
> Peace. As Adam Stephanides already said Weer is the one who has
> dwindled. But if Christian Baptism is the only hope for Weer in the
> novel, one might ask where else is this intimated and does Weer ever
> receive it, or possibly demonstrate the "baptism of desire".

I don't know.  The idea just came to me when I reread the sidhe story
a couple of days ago, and it's been quite a while since I last reread
the whole book, so I just threw it out as a speculation.  But given
Wolfe's own religious convictions, which appear explicitly in several
other books and stories of his, it seems a reasonable surmise.

And I didn't mean to suggest that Weer had not been baptized, or
that if he had been baptized he wouldn't have become a ghost.  Rather, my
idea was that religious belief in general might have helped fill the void
that clearly exists in Weer's life, and in that way possibly have gained
him "peace" after death.

Incidentally, what is the position of the Catholic church on ghosts?  I
would think that the idea of all souls going to heaven, hell or purgatory
would be inconsistent with the idea of ghosts remaining on earth.  (While
I seem to recall reading an article stating that the Catholic church had
within the past few years declared purgatory no longer official church
doctrine, that would have been after the publication of _Peace_.

> [1] The Book of Gold in Peace are the books of Mr. Gold, including one

Nice.  There's also a reference to Louis Gold in _Bibliomen_.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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