FIND in
<--prev V208 next-->
From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: (urth) PEACE: Picnic and Dream
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 15:09:14 -0500

Many of the problems associated with the story of Doris would disappear if
Charlie Turner's letter didn't exist. There is no reference to Doris outside
that letter. The letter, too, would cease to exist if Charlie wasn't real.

Among Weer's musings about the almost magical powers earlier generations
conferred upon the state of virginity was "the ability to entrap unicorns,
descry the future, see the fair folk". As we all know from folklore, maidens
were able to catch a unicorn by getting it to place its horned head in her
lap. (No, I'm going to leave Freud out of this!) Along the same lines, Wolfe
has reinforced the notion of virginal majesty by having Silk fear to lose
his, and with it the potential to see a god in a glass.

In the dream Den had the night following his picnic with Margaret (at which
time he had told her Smart's Tilly tale), the dog boy was "hiding from a
beating", "yelping" when Den kicked at it, and "snarling". Den was clearly
not sympathetic to young Charlie. Among the dog boy's offences, he was
humping Den's leg and was generally a distraction from Den's amorous pursuit
of Margaret. Den did not "make it" with Margaret on that picnic, as his
frustrations in the dream would seem to indicate. But Wolfe goes even
further to reinforce Margaret's virginity by having her not only be
sympathetic to the dog boy, but actually having her hold _"his head in her

I am suggesting that this may be Wolfe's way of letting the reader know that
Charlie is no more real than a unicorn.



<--prev V208 next-->