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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: PEACE: "facts"
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 03:06:09 

Adam quoted and wrote:
> At time of astral visit (AV) to Dr. Van Ness:[snip]
> Den had been president for less than a year (stopped carrying knife
>"months ago" (12)

<<I don't think this is correct.  On p. 12 (Harper & Row) Weer says: "I
begin to go through my pants pockets looking for the knife; it is not
there, and I remember that I have stopped carrying it months ago because
I went to the office every day and, because I no longer worked in the
lab, never used it; and that it wore the fabric of my trousers where its
hard bolsters pressed at the corners of my right hip pocket, so that
they wore out first there."  But on p. 17 Weer refers to "those hard
bolsters which, when my life was over and I had come to my desk, wore
out so many gabardines and serges".  Together, these imply that while
Weer stopped carrying the knife less than a year before the AV,
Weer did not stop carrying the knife as soon as he became president, but
continued to carry it long enough for it to wear out "so many" suits (I
would imagine this would be at least a year).>>

You may be right. OTOH, it depends. <g> We know that Weer carried the knife
for many years; he showed it to Lois during the Gold Hunt year (164). So, he
knew the effects of carrying it on his pants pockets long before he became
president. It's unclear what type of clothing he wore as an engineer, but I
infer that he wore suits then as well, because he mentions putting on his
coat (159), and the weather was not cold. He also worked at a desk then, in
an office (159). I concluded from the passages you quoted that he continued
to carry the knife while an engineer, despite the adverse effects on his
pockets, because he occasionally had use for it; once he became president he
no longer had a use for it, so he stopped carrying it.

Of course, this puts an entirely different spin on the usual interpretation
of the often cited "when my life was over and I came to my desk" quote. Most
people assume that to refer to when he gave up his 'useful' job as a
middle-aged "unimportant employee" (148) and became president. In light of
mantis's "ben Yahya and the Marid" link to the coldhouse prank, tying young
Weer to decades of selfless service in a dead-end job, it's possible that
when he bound himself to Smart was the occasion when his "life was over".
That is "what went wrong" with the plans he had for his life, plans made
before he was twenty (201). He wasn't going to go anywhere with that job,
and didn't, until Smart's death released him.


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

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