From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Ardis Dahl: American Monster Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 15:12:26 -0500 David DiGiacomo quoted Robert and wrote: >>I would therefore like to suggest something else to you. Is it possible that >>what Nadan actually notices by the ignited arrack is the burn caused by his >>own laser pistol and that Ardis Dahl is the werebeast he attempts, but >>fails, to kill on the night of the first egg? > >No, it's not possible, because... > >>... in describing his reaction to the discovery of Ardis's >>secret, Nadan pens the following: "I now know that the thing I killed before >>Ardis's father's house is real." > >If he had seen the laser burn, it would have been obvious beyond any >plausible dissociation that he had *not* killed the thing earlier in the >week. > >Then there are the "few filthy rags of clothing" - Ardis would never have >dressed that way. > >>What about Ardis leads him to conclude that the thing he "killed" is genuine? > >I'm not sure, but I think he would have noticed a "blunt muzzle". First, I would like to say that I'm glad to see Robert actively posting again, and look forward to more. Second, as mantis has pointed out, David's arguments are valid. I have always been puzzled by the nature of Ardis's "deformity", if she had one. I concur with Locey that any significant defect could hardly have gone unnoticed during the course of their coupling in the dark, so her secret had to have been detectable only (or most easily) by sight. There must also be some connection between Ardis and the werebeast earlier killed by Nadan, but they do not have to be the same being. Ardis need only be the same _type_ of creature. Nadan spends two paragraphs relating Osman Aga's account of such a creature as attacked him, but does not then name it. By Aga's account, such creatures were the end result of genetic mutations caused by American scientific manipulation of the food supply, to keep food incorruptible as long as possible, and to reach market sooner. The werebeasts resulted from the genetic damage caused by the concentrated chemicals found in the human corpses which were being eaten by some people. So, the nature of the beast is that of some sort of ghoul. On page 385 (Ace pb) Nadan calls the thing that attacked him a "druj". Druj means "lie" or "deceiver", and in early Avesta texts is a female personification of wickedness and evil thought to spread corruption in the world, inherently unclean. (Which is why Nadan viewed himself as unfit to lie with decent women or touch sacred works of art.) There is also a connection between the druj and corpses. Nadan relates a dream in which he and Ardis are walking at night: "One of the hideous creatures I shot night before last was pursuing us--or rather, lurking about us, for it appeared first to the left of us, then to the right, silhouetted against the night sky." This implies that such creatures fly, as does the fact that Ardis "sprang up" when he lit the alcohol. Also, even a werewolf can't "leap" from a three-storied building without paying Newton his due, but a winged being could. I don't recall that werewolves can fly, but a similar American werebeast might. According to Aga's account, the type of werebeast that attacked Nadan had only been generated since the genetic pollution occasioned in America during the previous century. How can that fact be reconciled with the long-standing tradition of the garden-variety werewolf? I don't see how it can--probability is certainly against it, but perhaps Science, run amuck, has created what Fantasy only knew as nightmare, but with wings. In the antepenultimate paragraph of the journal, Nadan writes: "Its [America's] eagle is dead--Ardis is the proper symbol of its rule." In the same paragraph he refers to America as a "corpse-country". The sense of uncleanness he finds in Ardis is associated with corpses. Werewolves don't eat corpses, do they? -Roy --