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Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 19:59:48 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) More Musings on Peace

Stone Ox wrote:
>So after a brief interval where he lives with the devil, Weer goes to
>college, graduates, comes back to work for the devil, and eventually inherits
>from the devil.  This can't be good for his soul.  I was reminded of the
>story of the banshee in Peace.  Briefly summarized, Jack and Molly are in
>love, but Molly's father can't stand the thought of his daughter marrying a
>penniless laborer, so he insists that Jack stay in the barn haunted by the
>banshee for a night.  Jack eventually defeats the banshee and marries Molly,
>but because of the banshee, Molly's father dies and Jack is never able to
>consummate his marriage.  I think this story hints at "what went wrong" in
>Weer's life.
>After college, the natural time for Weer to consider marrying Margaret Lorn,
>Weer's parents had probably already lost all their money.  (At least, all of
>it they hadn't spent on their years touring Europe and on Olivia's wedding.
>Is there any doubt that they lost their money in the Depression?).
>Margaret's father, Carl, is a pennypincher, and easily might have insisted
>that Weer get a good job before he marry Margaret.  So Weer goes to work at
>the factory, kills someone in the coldhouse prank, loses his chance for
>Margaret, and becomes a virtual slave to uncle Julius.

That is interesting!

Just to be sure I comprehend, a timeline would look like this:

1934 (Weer at 20) Weer buys car as college junior

1935 (Weer at 21) Weer graduates from college; picnic with Margaret ("age
of the bicycle") => engagement with qualifications (we've discussed this
angle before, iirc)

1938 (Weer at 24) Coldhouse prank.

1939 (Weer at 25) the Chinese Garden dream.

Okay, the only problems are "age of the bicycle," which could be fixed by
moving the picnic two years back to 1933; and the date of Olivia's death,
which I haven't placed here (because you did not mention where it goes),
since it complicates matters between Smart and Weer, including Weer's

>Finally, if Julius is the devil, I have to wonder if he conspired with
>Professor Peacock in Olivia's death.  They were good friends when Peacock
>introduced Julius to Olivia, and there is the mysterious letter from Peacock
>to Julius on the President's desk which Weer is unable to read because it's
>nailed down. Did Julius inherit any money from her?  If so, his factory was
>built using money that is triply blood money.  He got it from Mr. Tilly's
>death, from Olivia's death, and from the carny practice, which carries guilt
>at least for Mrs. Tilly's and Rodney's deaths, as well as any ill effects on
>the carnies.

Right, this goes well with Robert Borski's idea that Weer accused Smart of
killing Olivia, either by turning her into a "monster" or more directly (in
this example, by arranging her murder).  It was this exchange of words (or
whatever happened at Olivia's funeral) which made Smart refuse to talk to
Weer again (and makes the job placement angle so tricky).


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


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