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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Weer is not dead.
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 00:46:30 

Rostrum (Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>) said:

>I was arguing more that Bobby's death seems to have been an important
>turning point.  Isn't there an implication that it had something to do
>with Weer's parents leaving?  The way it is presented screams "this was a
>formative event" and it is at least symbolic of Weer's lifelong choices
>"to eschew violence or embrace it" even if you don't want to hold young
>Dennis completely responsible for that particular event.
>Would the "test" be more fair if the night before the fight, Dennis had a
>dream revealing to him the consequences of a life embracing violence? :-)

Maybe. But it definitely would be more fair as a test if he was a great
deal older than five.

"Alex David Groce" <adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu> said:

>	I agree--I only meant that Bobby is the "best" case I see for someone
>killed by Weer (and a poor case, although it's easy to see how people blamed
>him and how it surely changed his life)--and I don't see it as his test, or
>failure.  I'm not sure that there IS an exact turning point where things went
>wrong for Weer--I think the book is more about coming to understand what did
>happen to him, not what might have been (although the headrest story does seem
>suggestive of that...)

Well, we all agree that the struggle that lead to the death of Bobby Black
makes little sense when considered as a test for Weer or as a murder. But
it certainly can be seen as one of the most formative events in Weer's life
since it led directly to his parents leaving for Europe for 2 (or more?)
years which resulted in permantent estrangement between them and Weer. It
also lead to Weer living with and being cared for by his Aunt Olivia, who
allowed him a great deal more independance and probably offered him less
affection than his parents (or at least his mother) would have done.

Olivia Weer (and her relationship with Alden Weer) is certainly a very
large, important and interesting part of the book. I intend to post about
it when I finish my "critical" rereading of _Peace_.

As far as murder goes, I think a better case can be made for Weer killing
someone other than Bobby Black. Because I am out of time  for today, I will
leave this as an exercise for the reader. <g>

William Ansley

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

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