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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Weer's House
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 23:42:19 

Alex David Groce (adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu) wrote:

>Hmmm...  I don't have it with me (I always end up answering these on campus
>where my little Wolfe library isn't handy) but isn't there an essay in CASTLE
>OF DAYS, titled "Peace of My Mind" or such, where Wolfe complains about people
>thinking of the museum house as an eldritch Poe-like (not that I'd imagine
>Wolfe thinks Poe-like is much of an insult) device.  He says that it's much
>more normal than some tend to think, then talks about an old knife of his that
>is a kind of "memory house" all in itself?
>	Although, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if the essay was
>implying Weer really built such a house or not.  I'll have to re-read it.
>On Aug 28, 12:57am, CRCulver@aol.com wrote:
>> Subject: (urth) Weer's House
>> Wolfe said in the interview with James B. Jordan:
>> "I wanted to do the rooms that were recreations and
>> rooms that [Weer] had known as a very young man and I didn't think that
>> anybody would actually do that. That it had to be a supernatural stick or a
>> mental quirk or something of that sort."
>> I think this means the house didn't exist...just my opinion. Perhaps the
>> listees can get more out of it.

My novel _Peace_ has just been published in Britain.... Colin Greenland has
reviewed it kindly in the London _Times Literary Supplement_, but what we
are doing here at Aussiecon Two strikes me as proving that I am right and
he is wrong. Let me quote a bit of his review: "Drawing on the energies of
the past, he wanders through the house, whose rooms seem to change about
him. Weer remembers designing it and 'interspersing among the functional
rooms of my home certan "museum rooms" ', 'duplicating or nearly
duplicating certain well-remembered rooms whose furnishings had fallen to
me by inheritance'. The sheer Poe-like oddness of this contrivance is the
metafictional trick."

Mr. Greenland supposes--in his review, at least--that to come accross odd
corners of one's past in odd corners of one's house (which is what Alden
Dennis Weer does in _Peace_) is, as H. P. Lovecraft might have said,

-from "_Peace_ of My Mind" in _Castle of Days_

I don't think Wolfe is being fair to Mr. Greenland here. Obviously, if all
Wolfe had done was have ADW find items that brought back memories in "odd
corners" of a conventional, stable house then Mr. Greenland wouldn't have
written what he did. However, I don't think I understand or think I don't
agree what Mr. Greenland is saying about metafiction. But, since the quote
is out of context, I guess I am not being fair, either!

Wolfe says he didn't think anyone would actually build a house such as Weer
describes designing in _Peace_. After reading _Peace_, *I* believe that
Weer would have built such a house. Wolfe is just that good!

I think the anti-house camp has expended some convincing ammunition, but
you need not waste any more on me. I prefer to stay here in my bunker and
preserve my illusions.

William Ansley

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

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