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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: is Weer's biography knowable? (long)
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 09:28:39 

Good post, Adam!  I especially like the idea that A.D. Weer was not
involved in the coldhouse prank--in effect, that this is just another
"ghost story" within yet another genre framework (journalistic
what-have-you), and as such, if it =does= relate to Weer it is in the same
way that any of the fairy tales do.  So (for Weer; for the deeper story) it
is about Bobby Black again, rather than a mysterious other.

OTOH Adam wrote these reasons implicating Weer in the prank:
>1.  Why does Weer include the story if it only happened to a coworker of
>2.  The vividness of Weer's account of the culprit's emotions suggests
>firsthand experience.
>3.  Having Weer be the culprit fits in with various broader hypotheses
>about Weer's life.

To which I'd add one that to me seems like it should be number one in
ranking: Weer seems very agitated by the story, to the point where he might
be on the verge of a medical crisis (in fact, on the verge of his final
medical crisis). Freed of literally casting him as a multiple murderer, we
can easily chalk this up to unresolved guilt over Bobby Black.

In fact, you could even put a Freudian ("childhood makes the person") spin
on the whole deal and say that Weer's real biography ends with his
childhood, and all the rest, the dreams of a life lived, books read, and so
on, is all just a belated attempt to resolve these traumas.  So instead of
trying to hammer out his life from 15 to 60, and then trace things from the
fictitious to the biographical, instead use only his life from 1 to 15 (or
whatever: Freud's deal was 1 to 7, iirc), from which everything else
phantasmagorically emerges (with no distinction between fiction and
biography).  Wave upon wave of reiteration.  Such an approach seems quite
easy at first glance, since there doesn't seem to be much argument about
that stretch of Den's life.

Adam wrote:
>Similarly, I once argued that the "day in the life of the president" in
>chapter five was not a real day in Weer's past, but a fabrication by
>Weer of the same type as his visit to Van Ness, conflating events that
>happened on various days or never happened.  There were no responses to
>my post, either positive or negative, but again you can't prove from the
>text that my hypothesis is false.

Well Roy Lackey and I were using something like this as a working model,
but then since there seems to be a considerable gap between the day of
Three Visitors ("early presidency") and the Day of the Reporter ("late
presidency"), it seemed to resolve into two different days: the day of
omen, and the day of death.

They could still be fabrications.

And nine-year-old Den might still be passed out beside his chemistry set!


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

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