From: "Robert Borski"
Subject: Re: (urth) the dog-boy of Carnies Past Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 13:32:35 -0500 Roy responding to me again: > A quibble: the Golden Year is the year Den met Lois and Sherry, when he was > about 45, and before he became president. His meeting with Charlie took > place a few years later, after he was president. I was going by the timeline in the Peace Indexicon, where under the Golden Year, six events are listed, including the following: "Charlie Turner, the dog man, arrives unexpectedly." > >And if the second picture is a snapshot of Tom and Den--taken after the latter > >possibly checks out the carnival as potential home for his illegitimate > >child, or after having trysted with part-time hooker Candy--this might > >explain why Charlie sent it to him. > Either I'm seriously misreading you, or this last sentence of this paragraph > contradicts the first (quoted above). If "both pictures are from a much > earlier time--and clearly predate the Golden Year", and if the two men are > Tom and Den, then you have Den looking for a home for a teenage daughter he > begot on a 16 year old Sherry he hasn't even met yet! No, you have it right exactly. Because as I've been attempting to demonstrate all along it is not possible to construct a hard and true chronological ordering of the events in PEACE. There are just too many contradictions and mutually-exclusive events. Example 1: If the mystery man in the second photo is J. Smart as you suggest, when was it taken? At the same time as the Candy photo? (Both are sepia toned and depict old-fashioned styles of dress and coiffure.) If at differing times, why do each still depict similar antequated fashion sensibilities--and why now, all of a sudden, has Charlie sent the much older photo of Smart and young Tom to Den? Also, if the mystery man is Smart, why does Den claim he's never met him? Similarly, why doesn't Miss Hadow recognize Smart? Counter-example 1: If the mystery man in the second photo is D. Weer, why is the giant wearing the old-fashioned vest and watch, which dates from a much earlier time period? (Is he modeling himself on fashion guru J. Smart as a tribute to his creator? Or can he only afford rummage sale bargains, there not being a whole lot of money in being a sideshow freak?) Why doesn't Miss Hadow recognize Weer or Weer admit that he is the man in the photo and therefore knows the giant? (I've suggested one solution.) Example 2: the Birkhead anomaly. Example 3: Once again, I cite the scene where Den has sex with Sherry Gold. Sixteen-year old Sherry shows up at Weer's door and Den invites her in. Says Den to the girl: "Excuse me for not rising. I have suffered a stroke resulting in partial paralysis of my leg." Kind-hearted Sherry, though nervous (as Wolfe tells us), responds, "That's all right." But how can this be? Den's stroke is years in the future--long after he has sex with Sherry Gold. It's clearly impossible--and yet there it is, right on the page before us. Possible solutions include: 1) post-stroke Den is looking back to the encounter and re-imagining it from the perspective of his current present, complete with revisionist dialogue; 2) Den, adrift in a maze of memories, is conflating events, as confused or disoriented as anyone who's suffered a stroke, or in the twilight of their life has vivid recollections of their childhood, but can't remember what they had to eat yesterday. Unfortunately, either solution presents difficulties with placing this or any other event within a real-time continuum--thereby making all proofs requiring a strict chronology invalid. Time, in PEACE, is a river that runs everywhere. Robert Borski --