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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: Smart
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 00:57:27 -0500

mantis writes:

>Roy C. Lackey's post on Smart.  Again, that delightful feeling of seeing
>someone else write what I was on the verge of writing a week ago!

That sort of thing has happened to me far too often on this list; someone
beating me to the punch, but "delightful" is not the word I would choose to
describe my reaction.  I still can't believe that, back during the
LITTLE, BIG discussion, you used that Jefferson Airplane line from "White
Rabbit" to deflect some question to alga. I was gonna use that!

>In contrast to the chummy antics of the other suitors, iirc we have no
>indication of the same with Smart and Weer.  So, even if there were no
>other weirdness, the woman Olivia is the lynchpin that holds them in
>proximity: once she is gone, they might well drift apart.  They don't go
>fishing together; they do not talk about books together; etc.

We agree, I think, that Weer and Smart were never pals, even when Olivia was
alive. But to literally not speak to one another after her death betokens
hard feelings on behalf of at least one party. Living in the same block as
they did, in a small town, such an abrupt rift would call attention to
itself, as it almost surely did. Whether intentional or not, such a rift
would have to have extended to the entire Weer family; though unstated in
the text, I doubt that Smart was on speaking terms with any of the Weers.

>So the simplest solution would appear to be that Smart and Weer had nothing
>to say to each other, and that Weer inherited because Smart had no other
>family and Weer is related by the marriage to Olivia.  (Or as Wolfe said to
>Damien Broderick, something like: Weer inherited from grumpy old Smart.)

But Smart _did_ have other family, some of them blood kin. All those
"relations" he had helping him look for a job after college; his "various
aunts, you know, and cousins and in-laws" (115-16) They can't _all_ be dead.
And Wolfe's comment doesn't address _why_ Weer inherited.

>The other thing about Smart that I've been mulling over again is how he
>equates to Napoleon, and what this means to the larger text.  There is the
>biography that they all read; there is the statue Olivia buys for Smart;
>Smart's child-like size points to Napoleon's small stature; even Smart's
>possible earlier marriage (to "Mrs. Tilly") might point to Napoleon's
>marital scenario (Josephine and then Marie Louise) . . . and thus the
>strange anecdote about Napoleon's hand, which Weer alludes to, a tidbit
>which our dedicated fellow readers have =not= been able to find in the
>biography itself, may relate directly to Smart himself rather than

You meant, it was Smart who bought the Dresden figure for Olivia. I didn't
know that no one had found the hand reference in Ludwig's bio. Strange.
Maybe it has something to do with one of Smart's shoulders being "noticeably
larger than the other". In depictions of Napoleon, is the shoulder
corresponding to the hand in his waistcoat elevated higher than the other,
making it look bigger? Anyone know?



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