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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 15:48:34 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) PEACE: Coldhouse prank, facts and function

1) At first Weer seems disturbed that French would tell the reporter about
the prank (and we assume we know why: because it is bad news, however old),
and French's explanation of his motive makes sense for French's frame of
reference (1974 or thereabouts), but Weer still seems a bit . . . haunted.

2) Does Weer's haunted state require that he be the prankster?  No, of
course not: anybody can be frightened of seeing a ghost, not just the

3) And if Charlie Turner is a "unicorn" who came through the barriers, and
deep down Weer knows Charlie is a fiction-come-to-life, then we have a
wonderful chain about the objective reality of forgeries (Venus of Milo;
Lou Gold's books; Tilly's freaks; even Quantrill's tryst with Kate?)
meeting up with the oft-repeated "summoning ghosts by speaking of them"
thread of PEACE . . . meaning that, even if Weer knows that the prank is a
legend, he is also aware that in the memory mansion when one speaks of a
character (as Weer was trying to tell Bill Baton about the Tilly story) a
character can suddenly appear, even if it is a person Weer never really met
in his mortal life, even if it is a person who never really existed outside
of a story.  To talk of it is to call it up in the place where Weer is.

4)  The joke is on Weer, however, since on one level I hope we can all
agree on (and we've gone over this before), Weer himself is a ghost
haunting the coldhouse.  To have a ghost frightened of meeting a ghost in a
haunted place is pretty funny, and it may show a lot about Weer's
resistance to the idea that he is really and truly dead (not the last man
on Earth, not a senile man wandering in a ruin, not a boy dreaming, nor any
of the other explanations).



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