Peace Chapter 2: Olivia's Death
In Gene Wolfe
Sep 29, 2021
The reference to Peacock's car comes at the beginning of Olivia's date with Stewart Blaine, and the description of Blaine's British car - Weer mentions that Peacock owns a car, but doesn't take it into Cassionsville, maybe to cultivate an air of 'scholarly poverty'. Regarding the 'drummer', I think Wolfe is using this in the old-fashioned sense of a travelling salesman (a job his father held for a while during his childhood). A musical drummer would be so oddly specific as to be significant, but a salesman would be a generic example of a transient visitor passing through town.
In Gene Wolfe
Jul 21, 2021
Just listened to the latest podcast. I think the book is pretty clearly set east of the Mississippi, and likely north of the Ohio river, in Illinois/Indiana/Ohio, which explains why the river flows to the west. A few pieces of evidence below: >The strongest clue is when Lois tells Weer that William Quantrill, despite fighting for the Confederacy, was "born near here", and was "a Midwesterner, like Grant and Sherman" Quantrill, Grant, and Sherman were all born in Ohio, and Grant settled in Illinois. >The Kanakessee River is fictional, but shares a lot of phonemes with the Kankakee River in Illinois. >Stewart Blaine tells Weer that the land should theoretically revert to the Iroquois upon his death. The Iroquois nation exercised control of the Ohio river valley, but never any region west of the Mississippi >Also, during Weer's reverie about American cities becoming overgrown ruins, he cites Chicago and Indianapolis, not Kansas City or Topeka. >Julius Smart's trip south takes him to the Gulf Coast, probably somewhere from Florida to Louisiana (orange trees, shotgun shacks), rather than into Texas. >And lastly, in a book that so keenly observes small-town social politics, it would only make sense for Wolfe to write about the region in which he spent much of his life.