FIND in
<--prev V210 next-->
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 23:46:01 -0500
From: William Ansley 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: oh wabe!

>William Ansley's memory of PEACE is very sharp!

It should be. _Peace_ is still my favorite of Wolfe's books and I 
have read it many times.

>He wrote:
>>In the passage from _Peace_ you mention above, Weer is thinking about
>>nonexistant races of men. I don't have my book with me and so can't
>>remember the details, but from what you say above, it was the
>>orange-skinned people who worshiped sundials. The passage continues to the
>>effect that, after the threat of legal action allows the "orange tribe"
>>into the country club, "they out with strange oaths. What's a wabe?" (I am
>  >reconstructing the quote from memory.)
>This is right.  The only additions I would make are: "wabe" is part of the
>strange oath that slips out of an orange guy in an unguarded moment (an
>utterance that makes the familiar seeming become utterly alien); and that
>the orange tribe seems to worship sundials as "ours" seems to worship
>telephone poles (a play on how telephone poles have cruciform shapes due to
>utility unrelated to religion . . . another engineering joke).

Interesting. I'm going to quote the whole passage.

[T]he orange people with their weird religion demanding the worship 
of sundials (as our own seems to others that of telephone poles), so 
that in friendly locker-room conversations, when we have at last and 
at the threat of certain legal pressures admitted them in Pinelawn 
and are discussing the round now past, they out with strange oaths. 
What is a wabe?

I have always thought Wolfe meant that to others (although just who 
these others might be, I'm sure I don't know) we seem to worship 
telephone poles because we have them all over the place, so they must 
be some kind of totem object.

Totem! Poles! Totem poles! I made a joke, son.

>  >----------------------
>  >The grass plot round a sundial ... because it goes a long way before it,
>>and a long way behind it ... and a long way beyond it on each side.
>>This is word play. The sound of the word "way" is combined with the sound
>>of the common first letter of "before," "behind" and "beyond" to produce
>>the word "wabe." (My apologies to everyone who already understood this
>Hey, does this mean it is pronounced "WAY-bee," to rhyme with "baby"?  I
>thought it was "WAYB" to rhyme with "babe"!

"WAYB" is, of course, the canonical pronunciation. Considering that I 
made a special effort to phrase my explanation above in such a way as 
to prevent anyone reading it from arriving at "WAY-bee," the depth of 
my failure is all the more humiliating. 

>Wolfe-content aside, everybody should go out and see Miyazaki's new movie
>"Spirited Away"!  Right now!  Miyazaki has several fine movies and this is
>one of them.  Many of the people around here have seen it already (I've
>seen it twice and might see it again before it gets to video).

I agree whole-heartedly with mantis here. This film is not playing in 
a lot of theaters, but it is well worth going out of your way to see 

William Ansley


<--prev V210 next-->