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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: The Elm
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 09:11:47 

On Tue, 17 Jul 2001, Roy C. Lackey wrote:

> "The elm tree planted by Eleanor Bold, the judge's daughter, fell last
> night."
> Even if Weer and Eleanor had agreed in advance that the grave tree
> would be an elm, for Weer to associate the fallen mature tree with Eleanor
> and her hobby, then--duh--he must be dead. No matter whose grave it was,
> saplings do not grow to maturity and die, normally, in a lifetime; if
> Eleanor planted that tree, then everyone he knew must be dead, and so must
> he.

Does Weer say that the tree was mature?  Maybe it was a sapling that fell.  
I don't like that idea.  The language implies a full-sized tree.  If it
were a sapling one would be more likely to say it got smashed or uprooted
by the storm.

I just figured that Weer knows who planted the tree because it was over
his grave, not because he was hovering around as a ghost and watched her
plant it, but that he just has that knowledge because of its connection
to him.   Weer, like the reader on her first time through the novel,
hasn't thought through the implications and realized what it means.

> At one point Weer speaks of being "sicker, even, than I was this winter,
> before Eleanor Bold's tree fell". In the frametale it is early spring, so it
> can be inferred that he remembers a time before the tree fell, although that
> contradicts the theory that the tree falling is what freed his spirit, which
> woke him from the oblivion of death to his frametale existence. Yet his
> account begins after the tree fell. So, which is it? Does his memory extend,
> in the frametale, for some unspecified length of time before the tree fell
> (perhaps all the way back to when the tree was first planted), or does it
> begin with the tree falling? If the latter, then what did he mean about
> being "sicker" before then?

If Weer's ghost just "woke" with the falling of the sapling in early
spring, then the most recent winter he remembers is the winter before he
died, which, being before the tree was planted, is also before it fell.


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