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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Peace and Weer's Imagination
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 01:02:14 

Christopher R. Culver <crculver@aol.com> said:
>David Duffy said:
><<I think they are characters in a dream, based on those waiting in one or
>more actual visits to the doctor.>>
>So Weer conjures them up just like he does the doctor.
>This leads us to another conundrum: how could Weer know enough about medicine
>(specifically stroke treatment) to give the doctor something to say and to
>cause small talk between Sherry and Ted (though the latter may be due to a
>remembered event)? Or are the dead omniscient?
>A tiny, teeny question: when Weer mentions his face is stuck in one position,
>are we talking here about rigor mortis? In fact, is rigor mortis his "stroke,"
>i.e. his lack of mobility?

I wouldn't call Weer's mental state a dream. My interpretation is that he
is casting his mind back through his memories, in no particular order, and
that all of the events he recalls are based on "real" memories, even if
they have been altered by time as Weer admits they have more than once.

Even the visits to the doctors for advice are based on memories of real
visits, in my opinion. Weer is extrapolating what they might have said if
he asked them the questions he describes about having had a stroke in the
future from what he remembers Dr. Black and Dr. Van Ness saying to him
during visits he actually made to them during his lifetime.

Assuming Weer is speaking for the doctors, he really doesn't need any
medical knowledge to answer his question about what his best course of
action is, following his stroke. He only wants to know if he should be as
active as he can be or rest as much as possible and, as Weer himself says,
there isn't much difference between the two in his current state. The whole
doctor episode could be considered to be the mental equivalent of flipping
a coin, in this case, although much more reassuring because of the illusion
of getting outside advice.

I say "assuming" at the start of the previous paragraph because I don't
completely reject the idea that Weer is actually sending his mind back in
time. In fact, I prefer this hypothsis, but I admit it raises many
difficult questions. The haunted hotel that Weer's Aunt Bella describes in
her article "Ghost-Chaser Number Three" actually seems to be a case of a
temporal cross-over; perhaps Weer's haunting of his own past involves real
time travel.

I don't see any difficulty about the "small talk between Sherry and Ted" or
any other conversation that Weer reports. They are memories, probably all
reconstructed to some degree.

I don't think that Weer's stroke is due to rigor mortis setting in. Weer
has been dead a long time, far too long for there to be much in the way of
mortal remains left, much less a corpse capable of undergoing rigor.
Remember, the elm tree that was planted on his grave (after he died) has
become quite large and has fallen over.

William Ansley

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

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