(urth) An Evil Guest - An Object Lesson

Eric Bourland eb at hwaet.com
Tue Mar 20 16:12:12 PDT 2018

Dear Robert,

Actually I don't think you're all wet. Maybe she is pregnant. Maybe with 
twins. ;-)  I need to go back, read the materials that you have 
suggested, and read some or all of the book again -- all of which will 
be pleasurable. My instinct as a reader is, she's not pregnant, mainly 
because she does not have to be, to make the story work. Then again, 
maybe I have a limited view of how AEG works as a story. I'm ready to 
think more about it.

I think the AEG story is already doing a lot. It's a busy story. Would 
Wolfe, as a writer, add yet another component -- Cassie being pregnant, 
possibly with a demon child? Maybe so. But she's already got a lot to do.

I'm delighted to be wrong, and learn something interesting. If GW has 
left clues that Cassie is, or was, pregnant, then I would like to review 
them. I'll go back through your notes when I get some time, this evening.

In any case, it's a beautiful story, which is, I admit, what's most 
important to me. ;-)


On 3/20/2018 5:26 PM, Robert Pirkola wrote:
> On March 20, 2018, Marc Aramini wrote:
> >Cognitive dissonance incoming from the fasciest of textual fascists (me):
> >ideally people should be able to engage the text on the level they feel
> >comfortable with . . . sometimes it is necessary to let people read 
> as they want to - for
> >some, Wolfe really is just a fun read.  . . . I agree that we should 
> be speculating on Cassie's
> >condition ... but if that isn't important or central to the goal of other
> >readers I think it is okay. We all read for different things(but that
> >doesn't mean our plot exegeses are wrong, of course).
> I agree with your above-quoted points, Marc, and do not intend to 
> spoil anyone's fun.  I foisted the book on my mother to see what she 
> would think of the thing and she was bemused and amused about equally, 
> but she didn't go on a quest to figure anything out beyond what stuck 
> with her in her first (and likely only) read-through.  The point I 
> hoped to make about Eric's approach was that he was actively putting 
> on blinders to what the text was communicating about CC's body. And he 
> was apparently doing so because he had decided that it would be unfair 
> to measure Cassie Casey if she were in fact a flesh-and-blood person.  
> I'm reading Madame Bovary at the moment.  If I were strongly opposed 
> to adultery as a commandment violation worthy of the death penalty, 
> would I:
> (A) read the book and filter out those bits that offend me, or
> (B) not read a book about adultery?
> I certainly don't mean to suggest that you shouldn't be free to read 
> the book, stick it up your nose, or paint with it.  But reading 
> someone advocate for the conscious exclusion of textual evidence here 
> on this forum was a bit like finding a tortoise at the top of a flag 
> pole -- there it is, but *how* in the *world* . . . ?!
> It would be unfair to Eric to classify his views and approach by only 
> the last post which I disagreed with, however.  I know from following 
> this list for years that Eric has posted several observations and 
> questions that indicate the opposite of what I accuse him -- that is 
> to say, he has shown a willingness to pry into obscure corners of 
> Wolfe texts and get down with the minutiae.  I hope he will continue 
> to do the same and tell me why I'm all wet with this pregnancy thing.
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Eric Bourland
eb at hwaet.com

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