(urth) What the elm?
automatthew at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 11:19:22 PDT 2007
On Jun 6, 2007, at 12:21 PM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> This is *not* a put-down to the work Matthew King has done
> on the elm. I believe it very likely that Wolfe had at least some
> of this in mind when he chose an elm tree for Weer's grave
> decoration. The question in my mind, though, is this: how
> much does knowing this affect my reading of the book? Does
> knowing the significance of the elm help me to peace, uh,
> piece together the crabbed and mysterious timeline of
> Weer's life; to understand why he is (seemingly) trapped in
> this particular afterworld; or any of the mysteries associated
> with the individual accounts?
Knowing (or guessing) the connection to the Aeneid doesn't help in
the interpretation of Peace unless Wolfe borrowed much more than just
an elm. Peace is packed so full of fragmentary and subverted stories
that another classical allusion is hardly illuminating.
If we were to unearth Vergilian (or Dantean) monsters in the
menagerie of Weer's musings, or if we find some other Aenean
analogue, then perhaps the connection would be more than merely
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