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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: PEACE: Death; lying (was Re: (urth) Grounded in the text?)
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 19:33:20 

Adam, re: the end-of-the-world hypothesis:

> Not my suggestion.  It may have been Roy Lackey's, or mantis's, who
> have both touched on the "end-of-the-world" hypothesis (another hint
> I wish mantis would flesh out!).

I don't know that I originated it, but:

> 	Actually, this line has always given me the haunting image of
> that elm falling over Weer's grave not just fifty years later, but
> perhaps even after (for whatever reason) men no longer live...
(from Aug. 25, 1998)

Adam also wrote, about THE ARABIAN NIGHTMARE:

> It's actually a while since I read it, and while I'm sure I
> instinctively pegged it as postmodernist, I would have to reread it
> to tell you why I thought so.  Why do you think it's modernist?

Because although the book tells a story about utter disintegration and what
you might call utter narrative collapse (no story is ever complete,
nothing ever "bottoms out"), I think the overall story is actually in a sense very coherent and focused, even down to the final revelation




that our narrator all along has been "The Ape of God," Shaitan, and
that our poor protagonist is in Hell--and one of the most nightmarish
visions of Hell literature has managed to come up with.  PEACE on the
other hand, "breaks the loop"--rather than suggesting that Weer
undergoes continual disintegration, it suggests that the stories are
done in some sense, and he has passed on.  But they both use a
fragmented, complex style to arrive at, ultimately, I think, coherent
images.  But perhaps this is just my take on modernism as (in a way)
shattering the narrative but making sure that in the worst case the
pieces add up to a picture of broken glass, while postmodernism is all
about making sure there is no authoritative way to put the pieces back
together at all.  Which, now that I think about it, leaves few writers
who are really postmodernists (or at least few of any interest).

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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