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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Grounded in the text?
Date: Sat, 09 Dec 2000 10:42:52 

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> Adam Stephanides wrote:
> > > > But I'm skeptical that "recreating" can be
> > > > the master key to building "a coherent and consistent model," as you
> > > > seem to be suggesting, at least one which is grounded in the text.
> > >
> > > Okay, here's a bogey model.
> [...model postponed...]
> > That's why I put in the clause about being grounded in the text.  I
> > don't think that this model is, although I've discussed this before and
> > I don't expect you to agree with me.
> Point by point.
> > > Weer is dead, to begin with.
> I hope I don't have to show that this is grounded? Perhaps not proven,
> but certainly grounded.
> > >                                         he is undergoing a process by
> > > which he goes, or is led, through his life,
> That he is in some sense going through his life is clear. "Is led" is
> more questionable; it leads back to my speculation on the doctors, and
> possibly others, as psychopomps. Certainly the words and actions of the
> doctors seem to spark many of Weer's trips down memory lane; the only
> real speculation here is that it is done deliberately.
> > >                                             given the opportunity to
> > > change his mind (a la the Chinese Pillow; but cf also "Its a Wonderful
> > > Life"... H'mm, this paragraph is taking on a holiday theme...), "repent
> > > of" his former decisions, and so achieve Peace.
> Grounded, to begin with, in the title. A reading that doesn't make sense
> of the title is (imo) not particularly interesting. As for "changing his
> mind," I don't necessarily mean that he gets to change what actually
> happened, but at least he has the opportunity -- whether or not he takes
> it -- to reevaluate his attitude toward it: thus the "repentance" angle.
> (I am still working with variations on the "purgatory" model, if that
> wasn't clear.)

I think we pretty much agree on what elements of your model are and are
not grounded in the text (I've snipped the ones you say are not).  I
agree Weer's death is grounded in the text; he is evidently going over
his life; and the title, combined with the ending, do make it reasonable
to infer that Weer is seeking peace.  I don't believe, however, that
they are grounds for inferring that "peace" is an achievable goal, or
that the way to reach it is through "repentance."

But I don't think that these grounded elements, taken by themselves, are
enough to constitute "a coherent and consistent model."  At any rate,
they are too general to be of much help in explaining the mysteries of
Weer's present situation, which is what we want a model for.


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

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