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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) PEACE: In the office?
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000 13:48:04 

Dan'l wrote:
<<But... Perhaps his life is "Kansas" and his LAD "Oz?" Idunno.
That doesn't seem to work too well. I sort of want to see
Part 5, which takes place more in the LAD office and less in
his memory/world as "Ozzish" and the sepia photo as a reminder
(souvenir?!?) of the "Kansasish" memory/world. But is it
workable? And if it is, is it workable only by forcefitting?>>

Actually, I'm not sure that _any_ of Part 5 takes place in the LAD office.
In the frametale he left the LAD office and went to Mab Crawford's kitchen
(186-187). He was trying to find his way back to the glassed-in porch with
the fireplace (162, 201), but didn't. Instead: "But I carry my notebook and
pen with me, and write, sometimes, in the corridors, and sometimes in
strange rooms." (201) (BTW, the pen had been a pencil before, page 187.)
Then he finds his old apartment in the Commons (201), the last place he
specifically mentions being in the frametale. The conclusion of Part 4 and
the beginning of Part 5 are told in a straightforward manner (except for his
comment to Sherry about having had a stroke). Once Miss Hadow leaves his
office and he closes the curtains, he _thinks_ that the plant is an
illusion, but when he leaves the office she is still at Birkhead's desk
(227). Dan French is there with the reporter, they tour the plant, Den and
Dan go back to the office, Dan tells the Sidhe story, Den wakes up dead, Dan
is gone, Aunt Vi's voice is on the intercom, end of book. He never got back
to the frametale office, or any other museum room he had already been in,
for that matter.

    Part 5 seems to me the most realistic section of the book. There are
only two places where anything odd occurs (relatively speaking <g>), the
second of which is the last paragraph. The other oddity is that Birkhead was
there before he read Charlie's letter, but was gone when he finished it. It
wouldn't have happened that way in real life. There is a 10 to 12 year gap
there. If the letter ever existed, and was addressed to Weer and otherwise
authentic, he would have been reading it circa 1963-64. When Miss Hadow
answered his summons it would have been 1974-75, when both Birkhead and Weer
died. That the next letter in the pile was nailed down and was addressed to
Smart (from Peacock, who had been dead since the 1930s), indicates something
odd is going on, but it didn't take place in either his real office or the
duplicate one. Weer got rid of Smart's desk when he became president, and if
he ever had a duplicate office created at home, Smart's mail wouldn't very
likely be on it.

    If Birkhead was at her desk when he returned from his visit to Van Ness,
then the reminder note on his desk in the last paragraph and the doctor
visit for that afternoon that he mentioned to French, could _not_ be
referring to the follow-up visit requested by Van Ness for later in the day
after his last patient, at least a decade earlier. If, in real life, Weer
ever had occasion to undergo psychological testing by Van Ness (how many MDs
have such props to hand?)--then when, why? If he never took such tests,
whence his familiarity with them, and why did he mention them in his
account, especially as they seem to have been administered in consequence of
an imaginary visit to a dead doctor for a stroke he hadn't had yet? Are
imaginary people always so judgemental?


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

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