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Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 08:25:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: Morryster's _Marvells of Science_

--- Michael Andre-Driussi  wrote:
> Ten months ago, Adam Stephanides wrote:
> >I was looking over the section where this book appears (211-12, Harper
> hc)
> >and I have an observation and a question.
> >
> >First, the observation: the book is introduced with the sentences
> "There
> >were several books on his table, and I picked one up.  It was
> Morryster's
> >_Marvells of Science_..." (211)  Now, this way of phrasing it strongly
> >suggests that Weer is already familiar with the author and title;
> otherwise,
> >he would say something like "It was entitled _Marvells of Science_," by
> a
> >man named Morryster.  However, the book does not exist: it was invented
> by
> >Ambrose Bierce in _The Devil's Dictionary_, and the author and title
> were
> >borrowed by Lovecraft.  The copy Weer picks up is one of Gold's
> forgeries
> >(and since he finds it in Gold's office, we can dismiss the possibility
> that
> >_Peace_ takes place in a universe in which _Marvells of Science_ does
> >exist.)
> Does THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY (1911) have some reference to that title? In
> any event, it shows up, with a little quote, in Bierce's short story
> "The
> Man and the Snake" (1891).  See here
> http://www.online-literature.com/bierce/174/
> Yes, then Lovecraft used it later, but I've misplaced the note on which
> story that was.

"The Festival", according to the Invisible Library (which doesn't
mention the Bierce story, though--I'll tell the Librarian about it).
How certain is it that the _Marvells of Science_ in _Peace_, which
I'll get around to someday, is another of Gold's forgeries?

Jerry Friedman

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