(urth) PEACE: the source story

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 18:11:52 PDT 2009

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On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 7:45 PM, Christopher Keiser  wrote:
> Hello there Urth.net, long time lurker, first time poster.
> I am suffering, at the moment, a specific mental ailment, Eireneomania.
> During my third consecutive read, an allusion that had been nibbling
> away in my brain finally chewed its way free.
> "An Inhabitant of Carcosa", by Ambrose Bierce, is the the source story
> for _PEACE_.
> http://www.ambrosebierce.org/carcosa.html
> In interviews, Gene Wolfe always points to one or another story as the
> root source of his story, the seed of the idea.
> Never would I say anything is 100% with Wolfe, but, I will say it now:
> this story is the seed of  _PEACE_.
> I believe this will also support the theory that Weer is dead, though
> I am not sure anyone at this point believed otherwise.  My favorite
> interpretation of _PEACE_  places Weer's ghost in the far future,
> after the fall of our civilization. "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" would
> support that hypotheses.
> I hope this is not a repeat of something previously posted to Urth. I
> did a search on Urth, and the Internet in general, and found nothing
> similar.
> Have a read, any feedback would be appreciated.  Please tell me I am not crazy.
> Thanks,

The first time through that story, my head asploded as well, until I
looked up the dates and realized that _The King in Yellow_ had
borrowed the names like Hyades and Carcosa from this story, rather
than some other avenue of influence.

The second time, I don't really see any smoking gun. There must surely
have been other stories where the narrator is a ghost who finally
realizes his spectral nature; just off the top of my head, I'm sure
there was a _Twilight Zones_ episode like that. Do we have any
connection beside the generic ghostly narrator?

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