FIND in
<--prev V210 next-->
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 08:18:52 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: Smart's relatives

Roy quoted me and wrote:
>>Let's say Smart was born in 1900, when life expectancy for a man was around
>>48 (iirc), and died in 1963 at age 63.  Any relative who was old enough to
>>help him when he was 20-something would be 70 or 80-something after he
>Those "cousins" he mentioned would have been his own age.

Yes, and if still alive they would be past their life-expectancy age of 50.
As for Smart's parents sudden death, if they were in their 20s when they
conceived him, then they would be in their mid-40s when he went to Florida.
Rather close to the estimated lifespan.

>How is it that Smart even knew Peacock? The most obvious connection is the
>university at which Peacock taught. Smart had likely gone to school there.
>The university was just thirty-five miles from Cassionsville, and Smart grew
>up in the area. We know this because he said he didn't want to buy Tilly's
>drugstore because he "wanted to get back closer to the farm" (148).

Maybe.  With geography, "closer" is relative with regard to scale.  He was
in Florida at the time!  The Smart farm could be in the New England states
or in Illinois and he would still be closer to it in Ohio than he was in

Janet Turner, ala Cleo the Seal Girl, has an accent that places her in
Pennsylvania or Ohio.  She is from the multi-state region, maybe even from
the same state of Ohio.

>Smart had no siblings, his parent's death left him owning a chunk of real
>estate that was worth a tidy sum of money to him in the go-go 1920s.

Ah, but he must have had siblings, no?  He mentions "in-laws," after all,
among those relatives trying to help him get started.

>has to be a source of his start-up money for the plant; Smart was no farmer.

I thought we were agreed that Smart could not have started up the factory
without Olivia: "her" money, her brother's money, her family's influence in
the town.

>BTW, why would Smart have assumed that Peacock might have told Olivia that
>Tilly died, before Smart had even met her? (148)

Because Tilly's death is the circumstance that brings Smart, out of a job,
all the way from Florida to Ohio.  Smart has just arrived in town; he is
wearing a suit and shirt that he just bought at Macafee's department store.
He is friends with Peacock (just as he wrote letters to his professors
looking for a job, he wrote to Peacock, whether Peacock was his professor
or just a friend at college -- and Peacock probably mentioned Bledsoe's
drugstore), he knows that Peacock is courting Olivia, he knows that Olivia
has invited Smart to the birthday party (of Macaffee at Olivia's house --
very Auntie Mame!) at Peacock's request.  Thus, he knows that Peacock has
spoken of him to Olivia, and supposes that Peacock might have mentioned
this detail.

>>Smart knows that Olivia loved Weer.  Smart knows that Weer is the last of
>>the Weers.  Smart knows that he couldn't have made the factory without
>>Olivia's help.  However unfriendly Smart has been toward Weer over the last
>>25 years of Smart's life (make that 35 years!), it seems to me that leaving
>>the factory to Weer is in his best interests as an owner, and in his best
>>interests as a tribute to his wife and her family (i.e., the family network
>>that was able to further his career).
>I'm not so sure Olivia loved Weer. The first page of the second section
>doesn't read that way to me. She was stuck with him and tried to make the
>best of it.

While I agree she was stuck with him and tried to make the best of it, I do
not think this cancels out any familial love, or the possibility of the



<--prev V210 next-->