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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Peace's Nailed Desk
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 98 16:00:00 GMT

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

Paul and John,

Not that this means anything (file under "Free Association"), but
this detail of a desk reminded me  at first reading of a similar
scene in an early Heinlein novel--I think it was HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL
TRAVEL.  The boyish hero (Kip?  Tip?  The spacesuit's name was Oscar)
wakes up after a near-death medical crisis and is comforted by the
sight of his old room; but then when he tries to get his slipstick
off the desk, it won't budge (causing some anti-comforting anxiety
and confusion).  Enter the friendly medical aliens, who explain that
they were able to construct the room from a snapshot-like memory in
his brain, but they didn't know that the artifacts upon the desk were
meant to be separate from the desk.

Granted in hindsight, Heinlein was often toying with eschatological
and angelic matters; this scene could amount to an "X-Filization" of
something from one "Book of the Dead" or another.  It certainly rings
true with notion that low level ghosts (those that lack physical
presence) cannot pick things up.  (Obviously not poltergeists.)


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

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