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Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 08:31:56 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) Peace: Who killed Mr. Tilly?

Stone Ox wrote in detail about the death of Mr. Tilly in PEACE.

Instead of addressing the whole, which looks quite sound, I only have a few
tidbits at the moment.

About Sherry Gold, Stone Ox wrote:
>I would counter that the most mysterious thing about Doris's death is why
>she is in the book in the first place, and that Sherry's death occured
>long after Weer's.

No, my understanding is that Sherry died and then Weer had a stroke the day
after.  This stroke may or may not have been fatal.

With regard to the whole Tilly story, I recall talking around here (iirc)
with Robert Borski.  We were wondering if the story was a displaced
autobiography, like Weer's "fairy tale" version of Olivia's suitors as "The
Princess and Her Three Suitors."  More pointedly, it might be congruent to
Weer's "Arabian Nights" version of his past/future in "Ben Yahya and the
Marid" story: both have ties to the Arabian Nights ("Marid" in surface;
"Tilly" in plot and image of the husband slowly turning to stone); both are
ambiguously about the teller's past or future, et cetera.

That is, "Tilly" might be Smart himself ("Julius T. Smart," after all).
Which in a way combines Stone Ox's #3 and #6 (3. Mr. Tilly himself, in a
Jekyll-and-Hyde act. 6. Julius Smart.).

Our thinking on this became more noodly.  Looking for a true past event for
the story becomes problematic (there might not be a real murder), but
looking for a true future event is all too easy: Tilly's wife is maltreated
by Tilly (Olivia's appetites are not met by Smart); Tilly's wife turns into
a monster (Olivia becomes monstrously large); Tilly's wife dies (Olivia
killed); Tilly is haunted by her; Tilly dies and is replaced by an outsider
(Smart dies and is replaced by Weer).

Add to the mix that recurrant thread about how ghostly visions come from
the future as well as from the past; as well as the Wolfe theme about how
even tall tales somehow can come true.



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