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Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2002 09:25:29 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) the dog-boy of Carnies Past

Roy wrote:
>Ah, yes. I had forgotten that the mysterious Mr. Mason was the father of
>Candy and Arline, as well as Doris. That's another strike against the idea
>that Weer was the father of Doris. So far as we know, Weer never married at
>all, much less twice. It would also make him the father of Candy, which puts
>another ugly twist on the girlie picture Charlie sent him. But then, why
>does Charlie write: "Anyway, if you have any comments on the picture you
>would like to make, go ahead and make them to me and I will pass them along
>to Candy; she will be glad to hear from you."? Why should Candy be glad to
>hear from Weer? Who is he to her? Surely not her father!

Well right, there is the question of what Charlie's motives are and whether
Charlie and Weer are on the same page, as it were.  As we've discussed
before, it sure seems like Charlie is setting up some sort of scam to get
money out of Weer, but when Weer seems to go for it, suddenly Charlie has
to fold the project up and disappear again.  What spooked the scam?

"Mason" has ties to the stoney fate of Mr. Tilly, as we've said before.
The story of Tilly, while Southern Gothic in tone, seems at root to be a
tale from the Arabian Nights involving a cheating wife and her semi-statue

Mr. Tilly + Mrs. Tilly

Janet + Mr. X
    Charlie Turner

Mr. Mason + Mrs. Mason
     Candy  Arline

Mr. Mason + other woman

Uh oh, style whirlpool . . .

As Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, in PEACE do two threads
resolve into two separate groups?

ARABIAN NIGHTS crops up in the "ben Yahya and the Marid" (an "in the style
of" tale about Weer, Smart, Olivia, and the factory), in the Tilly story (a
real one in disguise, about Tilly, Mrs. Tilly, Janet, and Charlie by
Smart), in the unexpected presence of the Persian room of the mansion.

European fairy tales (specifically Grimms?) show up in "The Princess and
her Three Suitors" (another "in the style of," tale about Olivia) and the
fate of Doris (a disguised version of Cinderella).

The Arabian tales presented seem to involve inheritance from non-relatives.

The fairy tales here (and maybe the others in PEACE, I don't know) involve

Things get very murky with Tilly and the carnies.  Surely we have discussed
in the past the possibility that Charlie is the son of Tilly and Janet?  He
may be "Rodney" (i.e., there is no other son, it is a lie that the son
died), he may be Rodney's half-brother.

Then the rather intense way that, the night after telling Margaret Lorn the
story of Tilly on their fateful picnic, Weer dreams of the story, and sees
walking statues, and deals with the dog-boy . . . who comes between Weer
and Margaret (146).

The linkage of Weer to Charlie Turner might only be a product of the fact
that Weer inherited from Smart who inherited from Tilly, and Tilly created
freaks for the carnies.  Or there might be buried bloodlines involved.

>>Dimly I recall going over all this, but still I persist in wondering.  Odd
>>that the sepia picture has Smart on it . . .
>I said only that it was "possibly" Smart. Against that idea is the near
>certainty that the tall man with thick glasses is Tom Lavine. Tom's
>constitution is such that, as Charlie writes, he "won't live long". If the
>sepia is natural, the picture taken decades ago, how likely is it that Tom
>would still be alive to pay court to Doris at a time when Weer was about
>fifty? Charlie referred to Tom as a "kid". Weer was president for only about
>15 years before he died, not enough time for the photos to have faded and
>turned brown on the day he showed them to Miss Hadow. If the sepia was
>faked, the pictures still shouldn't have faded in 15 years. In other words,
>it would be pretty hard for Tom Lavine to have been a contemporary of both
>Smart and Doris.

Right, but to resolve the time paradoxes (and also examine "Doris <> Den's
daughter") I'm playing with the idea that Charlie is, in effect, a time
traveller from the past, ala Ghost of Carnies Past.  (The other view I'm
toying with would be Smart in Carny Hell -- the photo is real time, like
Pickman's model [Lovecraft story], showing Smart [hello Den, wish you were
here ] and the devil's Candy.)  Charlie time-traveler might age as he
goes into his future and grow young as he returns to his past (Wolfe has
played with this side-effect of time travel); if so, then items he carries
may also age, thus a fresh photo becomes sepia photo (this would be exactly

Again, I'm saying that Charlie is providing a "window to the past" just
like the ghost of Christmas past does for Scrooge.

>>Back to Janet Turner.  We know a surprising amount about her family.  Is
>>Turner her married name?  Her brother, with wife and farm, does he live
>>around Cassionsville? (I know we've wondered about that one before, but if
>>Turner is her married name, then gee, she could be related to the Lorns or
>>the Greens.  Or even somehow to the Weers?)
>We are given no hint as to who Charlie's father might be, but Turner must be
>Janet's maiden name; Smart notes that she wears no wedding band (142). The
>surviving brother inherited the family farm, but the only hint as to its
>location is Janet's accent (or lack of one), which Smart thinks "might be
>from Ohio or maybe Pennsylvania" (139).

Yes, and we have reason to believe that Cassionsville is in Ohio, home
state of Quantrill (194).


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