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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: is Weer's biography knowable? (long)
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 11:43:51 

On Thu, 7 Dec 2000, Adam Stephanides wrote:

> Without reopening the question of intent (which I may get around to
> posting on one of these days) I'll say that PEACE, to me, presents
> itself as having been carefully planned out by Wolfe so that its details
> and apparent anomalies are part of a conscious design; that is, Wolfe
> did nt write it in a slapdash fashion or by letting his inspiration
> carry him where it listed.  If this is correct, then (unless Wolfe was
> guilty of a monumental lapse of judgment) it is very unlikely that any
> "accidentally present" reading I could discern would be more satisfying
> than the reading Wolfe intended.  

My point was to disagree with your claim that we couldn't evaluate
possible readings of PEACE by arguing which reading is aesthetically
better. You say the reading Wolfe intended is much more likely to be
better than one he didn't intend.  Seems to me that implies that if we
find a reading that we like the best, that's likely to be the one Wolfe
intended, which should make everybody happy.

So, for instance, I think the book is more interesting if it turns out
Weer was the one responsible for the warehouse death, but either lies
about it in a pretty daring sort of way (reminds me of Hitchcock's movie
"Rope") or can't admit to himself what really happened.  I don't think
it's enough for you to respond saying that reading isn't sufficiently
supported by the text.  You need to demonstrate how PEACE is a better book
if you don't read it that way.

Perhaps you could argue it's more interesting to suspect Weer *might* have
been responsible for the warehouse death than to know for sure either way.
Which might have a stronger claim to be what Wolfe has actually given


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

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