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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) What's so funny about PEACE, love, and understanding?
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 00:53:58 

I keep meaning to post my reactions to the Doctors-as-guides theory, but
never getting around to it.  Maybe tomorrow.  (But as long as I'm on the
subject, why did Wolfe put in the visit to Dr. Black?  Dr. Black doesn't
elicit any memories; we do get mantis's Liberty clue, but that could
have been stuck in elsewhere, as could Weer's excursion into
metaphysics.  The only thing in Weer's visit to Black that couldn't have
been put in elsewhere, as far as I can tell, is his unforgivable
tactlessness (even to a figment of his imagination).  Maybe that's the

For now, just a few quick comments/queries on Dan'l's original post.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> The book is oddly full of evasions about death. Weer almost never
> mentions the deaths of anyone in the book -- the only deaths I recall
> being stated openly are Bobby Black's and Sherry Gold's

I'm not sure what you mean here; Weer frequently, even obsessively,
talks about people being dead.  If you're drawing a distinction between
saying that a character "is dead" and describing their death, there's
still Olivia, Doris, and the coldroom victim; and I don't remember
Sherry's death being described.

> and he goes out
> of his way to make Sherry the instigator of everything between them,

I'm not so sure about this.  The sequence of events is:

1)  Weer notices Sherry's hand moving toward the waistband of her skirt.

2)  Sherry asks Weer, "'You're not going to the _police_?'"

3)  "To see what she would say," Weer tells her that he's going to track
down her father's victims.

4)  Sherry offers herself.

Weer may not consciously intend sexual blackmail, but he's at least
toying with Sherry rather sadistically; and the giveaway phrase, "to see
what she would say," is supplied quite freely by Weer himself.

> and of her death, he says only that she killed herself.)

Do you have a reference for this?  I don't recall this at all, and I
just reread the book.
> As for the last page -- there is the odd detail about the appointment
> note nailed to the desk (see the beginning of part 5 to see why this
> is odd)

I'm not sure what part of the beginning of part 5 you're referring to. 
In any case, the significance of the appointment note being nailed to
the desk is that he is now in his "memory office," as I said in an
earlier post.  (And, I would argue, since it's very unlikely that that
particular note was included by the architect in the "stage properties,"
its presence shows that he is not in his real memory office, if one
exists, but inside his own skull.)

On a more positive note, I want to thank everyone who's participated in
this discussion; I've learned a lot from everybody's posts.  If I
sometimes seem overcritical, it's just my eagerness to understand this
brilliant, maddening book.


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

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