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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Ardis Dahl: American Monster
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 15:12:26 -0500

David DiGiacomo quoted Robert and wrote:

>>I would therefore like to suggest something else to you. Is it possible
>>what Nadan actually notices by the ignited arrack is the burn caused by
>>own laser pistol and that Ardis Dahl is the werebeast he attempts, but
>>fails, to kill on the night of the first egg?
>No, it's not possible, because...
>>... in describing his reaction to the discovery of Ardis's
>>secret, Nadan pens the following: "I now know that the thing I killed
>>Ardis's father's house is real."
>If he had seen the laser burn, it would have been obvious beyond any
>plausible dissociation that he had *not* killed the thing earlier in the
>Then there are the "few filthy rags of clothing" - Ardis would never have
>dressed that way.
>>What about Ardis leads him to conclude that the thing he "killed" is
>I'm not sure, but I think he would have noticed a "blunt muzzle".

First, I would like to say that I'm glad to see Robert actively posting
again, and look forward to more.

Second, as mantis has pointed out, David's arguments are valid. I have
always been puzzled by the nature of Ardis's "deformity", if she had one. I
concur with Locey that any significant defect could hardly have gone
unnoticed during the course of their coupling in the dark, so her secret had
to have been detectable only (or most easily) by sight. There must also be
some connection between Ardis and the werebeast earlier killed by Nadan, but
they do not have to be the same being. Ardis need only be the same _type_ of

Nadan spends two paragraphs relating Osman Aga's account of such a creature
as attacked him, but does not then name it. By Aga's account, such creatures
were the end result of genetic mutations caused by American scientific
manipulation of the food supply, to keep food incorruptible as long as
possible, and to reach market sooner. The werebeasts resulted from the
genetic damage caused by the concentrated chemicals found in the human
corpses which were being eaten by some people. So, the nature of the beast
is that of some sort of ghoul.

On page 385 (Ace pb) Nadan calls the thing that attacked him a "druj". Druj
means "lie" or "deceiver", and in early Avesta texts is a female
personification of wickedness and evil thought to spread corruption in the
world, inherently unclean. (Which is why Nadan viewed himself as unfit to
lie with decent women or touch sacred works of art.) There is also a
connection between the druj and corpses.

Nadan relates a dream in which he and Ardis are walking at night:

    "One of the hideous creatures I shot night before last was pursuing
us--or rather, lurking about us, for it appeared first to the left of us,
then to the right, silhouetted against the night sky."

This implies that such creatures fly, as does the fact that Ardis "sprang
up" when he lit the alcohol. Also, even a werewolf can't "leap" from a
three-storied building without paying Newton his due, but a winged being
could. I don't recall that werewolves can fly, but a similar American
werebeast might. According to Aga's account, the type of werebeast that
attacked Nadan had only been generated since the genetic pollution
occasioned in America during the previous century. How can that fact be
reconciled with the long-standing tradition of the garden-variety werewolf?
I don't see how it can--probability is certainly against it, but perhaps
Science, run amuck, has created what Fantasy only knew as nightmare, but
with wings. In the antepenultimate paragraph of the journal, Nadan writes:

    "Its [America's] eagle is dead--Ardis is the proper symbol of its rule."

In the same paragraph he refers to America as a "corpse-country". The sense
of uncleanness he finds in Ardis is associated with corpses. Werewolves
don't eat corpses, do they?



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