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Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 15:13:08 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) PEACE: Charlie Turner, Doris, 1963

Roy wrote:
>That sentence I mentioned is one of those long, convoluted ones Wolfe uses
>from time to time. Those kinds of sentences are always hard to puzzle out.

In my recent re-reading I was struck by the Proustian quality of the
sentence structure, and paragraph structure.  The sentence structure is
very dense and noodly; the paragraphs flow through unseen channels.  Makes
quoting the text even more of a challenge than usual, since the "conceptual
units" get pretty big (to the point where whole sentences are like single
letters of a long word).

Anyway, I'm back to the 1963 node of the three visitors . . .

In the past we spoke of Charlie Turner's motive.  Someone at one point
wrote that Charlie was seeking freak-making medicine from Weer; with the
implication that Smart had been running that old carny deal from the
backdoor all those years.

This makes a lot of sense.  Charlie is testing Weer to find out if the same
deal can still be done with the new president.  But Weer does not seem to
have the knowledge of freak-making chemistry, so the whole thing falls

Now then, on to Doris.

Doris may be real or she may be fictitious.  But here's the point (and I
think this part is new, but maybe not): the best solution for Doris is
=not= marriage to Tom Lavine the Canadian Giant (which is what Weer comes
up with), the best solution is to give her the stuff to make her a freak.
After all, the story is being told by a freak who knows he has had a better
life because he was made a freak; whose mother knew she was giving him a
better life by making him a freak.  This is part of the test or trial
balloon that Charlie is using on Weer and Weer flunks.

The news of Doris's death seems to really upset Weer.  I sense that he
feels responsible, if only for trying to dream up a happy ending for her;
he may also feel impotent, since here he is now king of the town and he
cannot even help one little orphan in another state (again, not to get into
any details about what he might have done beyond just talking with
Charlie). It may be the mundane world trigger for the "nervous breakdown" I
alledge he has in 1963.  Having read that one letter he is too upset to
read the Peacock letter, or so it seems to me.


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


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