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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re:  Weer's Death, and J.L. Borges
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 09:41:18 

On Thu, 27 Aug 1998, William H. Ansley wrote:

> Christopher R. Culver <crculver@aol.com> said:
> >Peace includes a great deal of Jorge Luis Borges' influence, and seeing it
> >here can illuminate how it was later used in the Book of the New Sun.
> >One Borgian influence I think is particularly strong is the labyrithine
> >symbolism of Weer's house (which I'm assuming is part of his postmortem
> >imagination and doesn't actually exist).
> I prefer to believe that the house does/did exist and it did have "museum
> rooms" replicating important rooms in Weer's life. But, I think the real
> house certainly wasn't the shifting thing Weer describes in the book, with
> rooms moving about and appearing and disappearing. Building a house with
> museum rooms would be a peculiar thing to do, but Weer was a peculiar guy.

I don't know.  It seems too obviously a reference to the ancient method of
enhancing memory by creating an imaginary house or castle in which each
room represents a time period or category of knowledge and the objects in
each room represent the specific things you are trying to remember.

I guess that doesn't rule out Weer literally building such a house (in
fact, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea--but I'd like it
more in a story about some character consciously doing it as an
extravagant mnemonic device--but then, what is a museum but an extravagant
mnemonic device?), but I think the shiftiness implies that at a minimum,
the house in the story has imaginary rooms/qualities in addition.


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