(urth) PEACE: the source story

Christopher Keiser slowalrus at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 20:21:47 PDT 2009

>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?

- --

That is certainly an honest request, considering Gene Wolfe.

1. Hoseib Alar Robardin finds his grave entangled in the roots of a tree.

2. The narrator does not know that he is dead.

3. Obviously, The inclusion of the _Morryster's Marvells of Science_
shows that Wolfe is familar with Bierce (of course, is there anything
with which he isn't familiar?).  The inclusion of the three mythos
tomes, (Bierce, Lovecraft and Bloch), another substrata of the novel,
displays more than a passing fancy regarding authors borrowing
fictional books from each other, and thereby strengthening their

4. The motif  "all are dead, all is gone, I am alone" is repeated many
times in _PEACE_.

5. Savages now inhabit the world  ... Iroquois inherit Cassionsville
after Blaine dies

6.  "I continued, 'I am ill and lost. Direct me, I beseech you, to
Carcosa.' ... very similar to Weer's conversations with many

7. And the smoking gun ...

"A chorus of howling wolves saluted the dawn. I saw them sitting on
their haunches, singly and in groups, on the summits of irregular
mounds and tumuli filling a half of my desert prospect and extending
to the horizon. And then I knew that these were ruins of the ancient
and famous city of Carcosa."

Gene Wolfe is obviously his own grandfather, and has traveled back in
time, influencing Ambrose to include the image of Wolf in his short
story, so that a young Wolf may appropriate it for his first novel.

Seriously, I think I will reread _PEACE_ again, find perhaps some textual proof.


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