FIND in
<--prev V18 next-->

From: "Jason Voegele" <voegele.6@osu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Weer is not dead.
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 11:35:42 

|For starters, I agree that Weer is not only 'dead,' but has been for a
|long time.  Recapping evidence others have presented before: Eleanor
|Bold's hobby is planting trees on the graves of her friends, elm trees are
|said to be planted to keep the dead from walking about as ghosts, Weer
|says that the elm Eleanor planted fell (freeing his ghost), the time from
|planting a tree until it falls is likely to be very long.

I believe we have a consensus here.

|> One other
|> theme in the book that I'm fond of (though I've had little luck
|> anyone of this) is solipsism.  Weer's universe seems to exist solely in
|> thoughts, but his relating of the stories of the dead breathes new life
|> those old bones.
|I think the very end of the book hints that you are righter than you know.
|The book ends with a reference to the story of the Chinese pillow and with
|a voice calling Dennis to wake up.  I think this is the glimmer of grace
|that redeems the whole book.

Wow, you've summed up in a few paragraphs exactly what I've been looking for
in this book.  It has always bothered me that Wolfe would right such a
beautiful and poignant book about the life of a probable murderer.  I failed
to see the point, although it didn't decrease my love for the work.  The
end, I thought, was always touching from a sentimental point of view but I
failed to grasp completely its significance.

Obviously, I think there is more to the book than this, but this certainly
provides a focus.  It still leaves unanswered the significance of all the
life-stories in the book.  It can be argued that they are there simply as a
cross-section of Weer's life, but I find little satisfaction in this view.
The stories are given to much weight for such a simple explanation (even
considering the tricks Wolfe likes to play) and I still think the
"Necronomicon" theme to the work is primary.  Consider the scene in which
Aunt Olivia, Julius Smart (?), and Weer all observe the skull in the cave
but fail to mention it to one another.  I'd like to delve a little into a
more "existential" view of this book, but it will have to wait (unless
someone would like to take up the baton here).

Jason Voegele

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

<--prev V18 next-->