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Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 15:42:43 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) PEACE: Smart's relatives

I'm re-reading PEACE now, taking a section per day in a Weer-ish sort of
way.  What a neat book!

Anyway, the question of Smart having closer relatives than Weer.  Yes,
Smart does talk about the help he had from relatives, but that was when he
was 20-something, and it is not likely that those relatives were younger --
rather, that they were older.

Let's say Smart was born in 1900, when life expectancy for a man was around
48 (iirc), and died in 1963 at age 63.  Any relative who was old enough to
help him when he was 20-something would be 70 or 80-something after he died!

Smart seems like a self-made man (many ways similar to Baldanders).   If
any of those relatives had managed to put him onto a job, he probably would
have maintained ties to those relatives; but since they didn't, he doesn't.
He found Mr. Tilly on his own, after riding milk trains; he found Olivia on
his own, with some debt to Professor Peacock who knew her/courted her
first.  From my figuring above there could be three generations of
relatives that he knows nothing about, and likewise, those myriads of
Smarties don't know a fraction about the factory that even a cold house
worker knows, let alone a long-term engineer like Weer.

Smart knows that Olivia loved Weer.  Smart knows that Weer is the last of
the Weers.  Smart knows that he couldn't have made the factory without
Olivia's help.  However unfriendly Smart has been toward Weer over the last
25 years of Smart's life (make that 35 years!), it seems to me that leaving
the factory to Weer is in his best interests as an owner, and in his best
interests as a tribute to his wife and her family (i.e., the family network
that was able to further his career).


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
29 copies of "Snake's-hands" until OP!


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