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Love and Sleep
by John Crowley



 
To: ALL Date: 08/13 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 2:12 PM LOVE & SLEEP - John Crowley. Some backgound material on the author and his work, primarily culled from various web pages and reference works. No relation to Aleister, thank goodness, despite his interest in the history of the occult (Crowley himself claims to be "basically immune to mystic apprehensions") that is apparent in his most recent project, AEGYPT, a planned tetralogy that consists of two completed volumes, AEGYPT (1987), which a couple of commentators have claimed that the author actually wished to title THE SOLITUDES for reasons that are unnecessary to go into at this time, and LOVE & SLEEP (1994). Crowley, known for taking years to complete his novels has been working on the third volume, tentatively titled DAEMONOLOGY. I haven't seen a proposed publication date for this novel. Crowley was born in 1942, Presque Isle, ME. He was graduated from Indiana University in 1964 and worked as a photographer and commercial artist for a couple of years. He has also taught courses on utopian literature and fiction writing at Yale. Since 1966 his "real" job has been as a free lance writer for films and television documentaries. A couple of the films and documentaries for which he has writing credits, none of with which I am familiar, are 1995's "The Gate of Heavenly Peace", a film about the Tiananmen Square crisis, "Are We Winning, Mommy? America and the Cold War" and PBS documentary "No Place to Hide", "a frightening look at the bomb-shelter phenomenon of the 1950s". Crowley's first published novel was THE DEEP (1975). I haven't read this yet; it is out in Bantam trade as part of a collection, THREE NOVELS, that includes BEASTS (1976) and ENGINE SUMMER (1979), both of which I have read and would recommend to literary minded SF enthusiasts. These were all marketed as genre science fiction. According to interviewer Richard Gehr, in these books Crowley "comes across as an ambitious author who'd overheard rumors about science fiction, then decided to put the theory into practice. 'That's exactly what it is,' affirmed Crowley...'I'm not deeply inside the genre.'" His most noted work previous to L&S was the World Fantasy Award winning LITTLE, BIG; or, THE FAIRIES' PARLIAMENT, about which I posted when I first became involved with CR. I plan to rewrite and repost that review because I think I could do a better job on it now. The only other author I would compare him to in terms of literary ability within the SF/fanatasy genre is Gene Wolfe, though Wolfe continues to write in the genre and is somewhat more prolific. Though it is part two of a four part project, LOVE & SLEEP stands on its own as a novel. I read L&S for the first time in the spring of '96, and am about one third of the way through on my second reading. I did read AEGYPT earlier this year and affirm that it is not necessary to read this volume before L&S to appreciate it, nor do I see it as particularly meaningful to read them chronologically. Crowley does a lot of slipping around time and place boundaries and perceptions in these books; this is not a plot-oriented project as such, though I'll be interested to hear where our CR readers think Crowley is going with his excavations into Pierce Moffet's rather wooly life and mind. Joe B
 
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 08/13 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:24 PM Joe, Thanks for the background information. I am half way through the book and not ready to post yet. I have a couple of questions. What do the titles of the sections of the book mean: Genitor, Inati, and Valetudo? Was Giordano Bruno Nolan a real person or is he fiction? Also would anyone be able to post the nursery rhyme about Bobby Shaftoe? I can't remember the words. Wouldn't it be great to live in a place called Blackbury Jambs? Jane who is enjoying this work all the while wondering if Crowley is poking fun at the reader
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/13 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 9:34 PM Jane, I'm a little over halfway thru and going slower by the moment. I think that the sections titles have something to do with tarot. Joe? And "Bobby Shaftoe went to sea, etc" is as far as I can remember. I MUST have a Mother Goose around here someplace. Doesn't EVERYONE have a MG? Ruth, waiting for things to fall into place
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/13 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 9:35 PM No, wait Jane, I think it's astrology. Ruth, into astronomy but not astrology
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/13 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 10:52 PM Jane, I am reading the section "Nati" now. I think Val the astrologer said that Nati meant the House of Children. This was when she was talking to Rose (the mother of Sam) about how there is no House of Love. And most of the questions from her clients were about Love. Sherry
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/14 From: REZG40D KARIN HANCHER Time: 10:07 AM Hi, Jane: THe MG is about the only book that IS read on my daughter's bookshelf! Bobby Shafto's gone to sea, Silver buckles at his knee; He'll come back and marry me. Pretty Bobby Shafto! Bobby Shafto's fat and fair, Combing down his yellow hair; He's my love for evermore.! Pretty Bobby Shafto! Karin, who loves the fat and fair part!
 
To: REZG40D KARIN HANCHER Date: 08/14 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 10:37 AM Karin: Shafto is fat and fair? Hey, I think it's time this Mother Goose selection was updated for political correctness. The poor guy can't help his obesity, and the fact that he's also fair (i.e., treats everyone fairly) is really beside the point, I think. Dale, being ironic and wishing a pox on PC-ness everywhere...
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/14 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 2:16 PM Jane - The section titles are references to the Latin names of astrological houses: AEGYPT included Vita (life), Lucrum (finances)and Fratres (knowledge); L&S includes Genitor (home affairs), Nati (romance), and Valetudo (health and work). These three in general (believe me there are many interpretations available) refer to parental home & hereditary characteristics, sexuality & risk-taking and service & health, respectively. There is an astrologer named Val in Blackbury Jambs who does horoscopes and she accounts for some exposition of these things. The proposed four volumes of AEGYPT will each consist of three houses: the remainder are Uxor (marriage), Mors(mortality), Pietas (spirituality), Regnum (profession), Benefacta (friends) and Carcer(limitations). An interesting framework. Giordano Bruno, Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly are all indeed historical figures from the 16th century. Very fascinating tragic characters. Apparently much of Crowley's material concerning Bruno and the Hermetic tradition comes from Dame Frances Yates, to whom the author gives principal acknowledgement in both volumes. Fellowes Kraft is unfortunately, a fictitious author, for I would love to read his novels, though I guess we are getting to within Crowley's. While Crowley is sometimes confusing and enigmatic, I don't think he's poking fun at us. I think in this case he just like the idea of a place called Blackbury Jambs. A quote from Crowley about L&S: "One of the jobs I set myself is to make it convincing that realistic and ordinary people are inhabiting fictional worlds where the miraculous and the unreal and the bizarre and the awful don't happen--then project them into a world where such things can happen. The basic idea of the book, beside the idea of time passing through a gateway,is the Gnostic mythology that we are really the gods, that human beings are final, and that the gods who come between us and the unknown, fore-existing God are really lesser than us and not our masters, although we have let them become our masters. The gods create the world by language, by imposing rules upon us; we discreate the world by language in the same way and create our own in its stead." I hesitated before including this quote only because it might put off some readers with the usually unlooked-for philosophical intrusion of the author's thoughts on a work; I included it anyway because I love those last two lines. Joe B
 
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 08/14 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 10:08 PM Joe, Ruth and all, Don't I feel silly! I posted that note after reading 250 pages of LOVE AND SLEEP, and then on p. 256 I find the defintion of NATI and VALETUDO. Val says that the latter has to do with illness and death. Joe, you did mention that there were a number of meanings for each term. I still find some of the names to be startling, like Mike Mucho. This is a man who is difficult to live with. We all know what "mucho" means and it is so close to "macho", so I assume that Mike is "mucho macho". Karin, Thanks for posting about Bobby Shafto. It is interesting that Crowley makes Bobby Shafto a girl in this novel, and we all know that she is not fat. I can't remember if she is fair. Jane who agrees with Dale about political correctness
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/15 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 10:34 PM Okay, it wasn't p. 256 but 257 instead, and Valetudo stands for illness and Mors is for death. Maybe, the third time is the charm on this. Jane who hit p. 300 today
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/16 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 10:21 PM Is anyone else reading this novel? I found the discussions I read today about God (pp. 300 -320) to be very interesting. I agree with Ruth that this is a "slow read". I can only digest so much at once in this middle section. There is certainly a lot to think about. Jane in Colorado where it was quite warm today
 
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 08/16 From: REZG40D KARIN HANCHER Time: 11:14 PM OK, Dale -- Challenge time! What PC terms (ie, short people are *vertically challenged*) can we substitute for "fat and fair"? Karin, spelling whose name is always a challenge, let alone prounoucing it (only Ruth knows!)l
 
To: REZG40D KARIN HANCHER Date: 08/17 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 1:43 AM Karin: Let me suggest: "circumferentially gifted and ultravioletly challenged" for a politically correct description of plump, sunburned folks. Dick in Alaska, who tans better than he diets
 
To: REZG40D KARIN HANCHER Date: 08/17 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 7:38 AM Karin: A PC substitute for "fat and fair"? Hmmm. I'll have to give this some thought. One of my favorites, though, is by the guy who writes the PC fairy tales. In SNOW WHITE, he describes the ugly stepsister as being "differently visaged." "Indeed," he goes on, "she was so differently visaged as to stop a clock." Dale in Ala., working on this
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/17 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:11 AM Dear Jane, I'm reading this and have just started the last section. I started out really enjoying it, when Pierce was young. Now I'm struggling. I think part of my problem is that I'm scrubbing wallpaper paste off the kitchen, painting and such, and I'm bone tired, even when I wake up. When this project is finally finished, and I can think straight, I'll actually write something about this book. One thing that I would like to ask though: slight spoiler alert: Is Robbie real? At first he seemed real, but then he didn't. What do you think of him? Did Pierce create him? Is he and "angel"? It seems like the two halves of the book converge here--meaning the part of the book with magic intrudes on part of the book without magic. I really like the idea explored about there being time cross-roads. I've often had thoughts like the ones Winnie had about choices. I'm writing online, which is never a good idea in my case. I promise to discuss this more cogently when I have more time. Sherry
 
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 08/17 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 3:29 PM Sherry - That's a good question and close to the heart of what this book is about as best as I can see it. I will try to collect some thoughts about this in the next day or so when I have some free time. I'm on a new schedule at work and am still making some adjustments so I will be reorganizing my leisure patterns accordingly (that almost makes it sound as though I was actually organized in the first place). Joe B
 
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 08/17 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 4:35 PM I'm reading LOVE AND SLEEP too. I liked the early part when Pierce was young too, then got a bit mystified during the first foray into Kraft's book, but now I'm getting to the end of the second section and I'm beginning to be very intrigued. In fact, I think I'm going to go back and reread the first part of Kraft's book again when I finish. And, you're right Sherry, I do best with this when I have at least a half hour of uninterrupted quiet time to really concentrate on it. At first, I was sort of shying away from it thinking that I never enjoy books in a fantasy genre very much. However, this book isn't fitting into any cubbyhole very neatly. It's almost more of a philosophical novel, if that makes any sense. And Jane, I marked that whole section on pages 301 through 304 about God and infinity in the back of my book to go back and ponder. God as a 9 year old girl had me smiling, of course. I liked that line that went, "Sure. If the Author of the universe were nine years old, a girl-child loving and imperious and jealous. Jealous! Thou shalt have *no other gods* before me, nosirree. 'Cause I said so." But, then the infinity stuff requires a bit more thought on my part. I also really liked the thoughts by Rose Ryder on page 346 about trying to get away from love, "That was what was hardest, for a heart like hers, not that you could not love or give love but that you couldn't avoid it, couldn't ever get out of the standing wind of love all around you, find shelter from it." I have a pretty gut-level understanding of what she's talking about here. SPOILER ALERT And, Sherry, again, I'm only on pg. 351, but my understanding was that Robbie is definitely Pierce's invention to fulfill his own need, his 3rd wish. But, then I don't think that anything is for certain in this book. Barb
 
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 08/17 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 5:48 PM SPOILER: Barb and Sherry, I'm sure Robbie is a fantasy. For one thing, he enters after hitchhiding across the country, a young man. Later he's 12 years old, isn't he? And he never interacts with anyone but Pierce, and very little with Pierce. Ruth, who also liked the beginning of the book, but who seriously bogged down in all the alchemy stuff
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/18 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:19 PM Hi all, I think that Robbie is a fantasy as well, because when Rose Ryder came home with him (about p. 340), Pierce checked to see Robbie's reaction. Rose didn't notice him. He is kind of like the little girl spirit that Kelley and Dr. Dee converse with. At first I thought that Dee might be blind because he says that he can imagine what she looks like. But then, I decided that they never saw her, they only felt her presence and spoke with her. I was glad that Robbie wasn't real because Pierce seemed to be saying that he had had sex with him. Am I wrong here? Jane who hopes she isn't reading too much into that scene
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/18 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:00 PM That's what the scene sounded like to me, too, Jane. Ruth, wondering if she and Jane are a pair of dirty old ladies
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/19 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 8:20 AM Another dirty ole lady here, guysettes. Speaking of guysettes, except for Joe, here we are again. I think the men of CR are really slacking off. I CHALLENGE all you guys to read this book and give us some real intellectual feedback. It's not an easy book; it's not about a dysfunctional family (well, mostly not), it's not about women being mistreated by men, it's about magic and history and all sorts of interesting stuff we could talk about. Sherry getting all foamy at the mouth
 
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 08/20 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:30 AM In fact, I was just going to post and tell Dale to be sure and read it. It's occurred to me a number of times that this is something he would like. It's such a interesting mixture of philosophy, magic, fantasy, history. In about the first third of it, I was starting to get defeated but then these layers start to reveal themselves and I am fascinated. And, yes, I do think that Pierce had a sexual experience with Robbie. I'm still pondering that one a bit too. It's like his need for closeness confuses that mirky line between deep love and sex...but then Robbie was the one who initiated it in that devious way that the girl manipulates things with Dr. Dee and Kelly (sorry, I don't have the book right here for her name.) I've been stalled in continuing with this book by preparations for everyone going back to school and work. And, I'm dying to get back to it! Barb
 
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 08/20 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 12:16 PM So. What do people think of this book? I finished it this morning, and I'm left wondering. I have to admit I don't really understand it, but that is not to say I didn't find it fascinating. I know there is much in the mythology and imagery that went right over my head. There is almost too much there to know what to talk about. Since the big issues are SO big, I'll start off by talking about a little issue. Did anyone notice the names of cars? There were Asps and Bisons and other creatures that in our present reality are not the names of cars. The opposite of brand-name dropping. But after the Big Wind, there was a Tempest. A convertible that the grownup Bobby took to get back to her old house. If I'm not mistaken that is really the name of a car. So was the real-time in the first part of the book an alternate real-time? And did the Big Wind come and change it to OUR real-time where there are such things as Tempest convertibles? And what about those werewolves? Who was the young werewolf that got caught in the trap? Was it Pierce?
 
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 08/20 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 12:49 PM I noticed the names of the cars, but assumed the author was just avoiding the use of "brand names", which can be a sticky wicket. They amused me because they sounded so much like the actual silly names they give cars. Maybe you're right, tho, and there's more going on with it. I found this book very confusing, but it may be partially due to the fact that the farther in I got, the less patience I had with the flashbacks into the past, and all that business about alchemy, etc. First I read them, then I started skimming them, by the time I got to the last quarter of the book I was skipping them entirely. They never seemed as real or immediate as the Pierce story, even if you make allowances for their being way back in the past. And besides I was totally confused most of the time about who was who. I was also a little confused in the Pierce story about who exactly all these people were, but not to the extent that I was in the "old" story. Was anyone bothered by jump from Pierce's childhood, told with great detail (and beautifully, I might add) to Pierce all grown up and no indication as to what happened in the years between? Would anyone like to explain the relation between the two narratives? Ruth, writing online again and probably not entirely coherent
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/21 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:07 PM Ruth and Sherry, I have 75 pages left to read. Since I have given myself the assignment of 25 pages a day to read, that means I will be finished in three days. I am a math whiz, am I not! I think I will wait until then to post any more thoughts, but I have enjoyed reading your notes. It is a strange book indeed. Jane in Colorado where we just had our afternoon thunderstorm
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/23 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 11:00 PM Ruth, Sherry, and Joe, I have been somewhat disappointed with our book discussions this year. During the last year (I mean the last list, really), it seems that everyone would read the books and comment. Now, it seems that only a few of us are reading. What gives, guys and guysettes? Jane who has ten pages to go
 
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 08/24 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 3:37 PM Jane: I think you're right. The past few discussions here haven't been as well attended as some others. As for myself, I just realized this week that I've been lagging about 2-1/2 books behind the discussion since March or so. By the time I finish one, the original note gets NMPR'd and I hate to start a whole new thread just to give my two cents after so much has been said so well. My amazing deductive powers tell me that if my work deadlines stay this rigorous, the only way I can catch up and get back in sync with the group is to skip a couple of books. (Skipping the "1/2" will be a little trickier.) I do know that I enjoy reading the discussions here even when I haven't read the book, though that's not ideal. We might be surprised, though, at how many people read our comments--or print them out for later, when they have a chance to tackle the book themselves--even when they're not posting at the time. Just a thought. Dale in slightly autumn-like Ala., who's looking forward to (1) catching up on the book list, and (2) catching up with CRs in Denver
 
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 08/24 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:11 PM Hi gang, I finished (as promised) LOVE AND SLEEP last night. I loved the GENITOR section of the book and looked forward to reading more about Sam's family as well as about Pierce. So, you know that I was very disappointed when nothing came of this beginning. I have more questions than answers about this book. First of all, the names. We have Rose and Rosie. We have Sam, Pierce's uncle and Sam, Rosie's little girl. Then there are all of the fairytale names: Bobby Shaftoe, Blackbury Jambs, Mt. Whirlagig, Mr. Honeybeare. And someone already mentioned the car names. What does all of this mean? Why did Sam, the little girl, have those seizures? Was this a sign of the general malaise in the world? What happened when the sister opened the trunk? I also tried to follow the werewolf theme throughout, and I found that it led nowhere (at least for me). I did find it interesting, in the first section, that Pierce (or was it the author) said that werewolves still exist. It is just that when they change, the fur is on the inside, tormenting the person. Consider this quote from the beginning of the book (p. 5) "He once set a forest on fire, so that a woman he loved could see it burn, a woman who loved fire. Hadn't he? O God had he actually once for her sake killed his only son?" Pierce did not have a grasp on reality. Jane, still thinking about this book which is a good sign
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/25 From: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Time: 1:45 AM Jane - I am working on this book. I've finished the first section and just started the second. My only comment so far is that, when the author writes of changes in the way the world "works" - and then illustrates the childhood world of the main character and his cousins, and contrasts with the later sections - in everyone's individual life there is such a drastic change in the working rules for the world, as we go from children to adults. And he may have been trying to show this chasm in describing the children's world, their perceptions, the games they played. Other than that, I cannot so far make out what Crowley is up to. And from what I read here, it does not become clear later on. Theresa - who is also reading Pnin (from the last list, for goodness sake, for my bus book. What a cute and oh so 1950s kinda book)
 
To: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Date: 08/28 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 3:40 PM Hey all - Sorry I've been AWOL. Hard drive problems that have been solved, at least for the time being. Just an overall scattershot look at some of the things you have mentioned. First, this is a rather confusing book, and there are a lot of unanswered questions when you've completed it (such as just who that trapped werewolf in Prague might be - this has to be some reference to Kraft's first novel THE WEREWOLF OF PRAGUE, though he doesn't explain it yet - I'm sure there will be some clarification of this detail at least in the volumes to come, which will describe the world(s) subsequent to the great wind); it is after all about magic and mystery and about how our perceptions of reality are shaped by the past and questions whether the past is shaped by our perceptions of reality; also it is the second part of a pretty ambitious tetralogy. Some material that is covered in detail in the first volume, AEGYPT, such as Pierce's early adult life, are summarized or are simply mentioned only briefly in L&S. Pierce is plainly in the midst of some kind of breakdown; the one thing that actually occurs in "real" time is that Pierce has left Blackbury Jambs more or less in a panic to visit his mother Winnie in Florida. Most of the rest of the stuff is flashback material or Kraft Fellowe's last novel that Pierce has been reading, a book that is surely meant to provide us readers with some clues to what Crowley is trying to do. We can't even be certain that Pierce remembers as much about his past as has been revealed to us in the Genitor section of the novel. What intrigues me is that despite the weaknesses that Pierce exhibits as his moral character degrades through the novel, I for one still managed to indentify with and feel empathy with his plight. The quandary of his acceptance/rejection of the multiple metaphysical problems presented and learnedly argued throughout L&S is, I feel, maintained at a properly delicate tension; I am awed at the amount of research that Crowley must have done to write such a book, and not mere regurgitation of gnostic and hermetic principles, but fairly illuminating and thought out examinations of their precepts in the context of their age. Small wonder that he takes years to complete a novel. We are never certain whether there is any "real" magic in either our world or the 16th century world of Kraft. As for Robbie, he was evoked by Pierce as some sort of ker, apparently for the purpose of leading his conjurer onward to his ultimate goal, which seems to be to find that thing which has remained as it was through the changing of the ages (which may be what Sister Philomel has in her box). Is there possibly a real Robbie in the world that Pierce has repressed the memory of or who he at least semi-consciously suspects may exist? It appears that others may be manipulating Pierce: witness the revelation that babysitting Beau the astral traveller and Julie the apparently airhead New Age publisher and former lover of Pierce know one another and are discussing his "progress". Are they talking about his book or his spiritual development? Near the end it also pretty clear that there will be a connection between Sam's seizures (possessions?) and the Christian cult which has captured the malleable and enigmatic Rose Ryder and for which Mike Mucho has abandoned his work on Climacterics theory. What's with all this Rose/Rosie stuff anyhow? Crowley is deliberately very confusing on this matter; we are as unsure as Pierce just what is going on. The rose image is constant. The combination of dog, star, stone and rose is referred to several times, but I don't have a clue what they mean. The book by Kraft that Pierce is reading seems to be the same book that Pierce wants to write, which in turn will be these books that Crowley has written and will hopefully continue to write, which is an interesting and enveloping thought. Crowley said as regards Pierce's struggle with Eros "Part ... of what I'm telling (is) how obdurate the past is. It persists and goes on having effects." Joe B
 
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 08/28 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 4:38 PM Well if Crowley set out to confuse, he succeeded with me. I suppose, though, my reaction to this book is governed by my previously held impatience with metaphysics. This is a book I never would have picked up on my own, Joe. I like that the reading list pushes us out of our natural reading patterns. Ruth, wondering what the hell a "ker" is
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 08/28 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 5:41 PM Ruth: A "ker" is a dog with no fancy breeding. I thought everyone knew that. Dale in Ala., with computer problems too
 
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 08/28 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 6:48 PM greetings CERTIFIED BOOK JUNKIE.. the reason why you thought everyone knew about a 'KER' is that fact that you have one!!! say hello to TAUPE FOR ME.. from auntie gail...
 
To: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Date: 08/28 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 11:29 PM I thought that was "cur". Or is that spelling simply used in the derogatory sense? Never saw anybody spell dogs "ker". Cathy
 
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 08/29 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 7:42 AM Cathy: You're right, of course. I just felt like being a smart-a**. Dale in Ala.
 
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 09/03 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 12:55 PM Dear Ruth, "Ker" as used in L&S was the term used for those personal ghosts that kept appearing. And maybe "echo" isn't such a bad word for them. Were they an echo of a person's imagination. Were they a manifestation of an echo of a (dead) person's life. Hmmm. Interesting. I think this book has a lot to discuss in it. Maybe too much. One fascinating concept, and one that almost obsessed me as a child, was the fork in the road question. So much depends on one decision or another. You can get lost in your imagination just pondering the what ifs. There is one scene near the end of the book, I think it is a dream, that I meant to post about. It's been so long now, I wonder if I can find it. Sherry who already forgot the main character's name
 
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 09/03 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 1:25 PM Hi, Sherry: I've long been obsessed by the fork in the road question, too. And bizarrely enough, the latest findings in quantum physics give a lot of credence to the "parallel universes" theory. In the sub-atomic world, at least, it's possible for a particle to exist in both "forks" at once. Why not the same for the particles that make up our bodies? A fascinating short novel on this theme is THE MAN WHO TURNED INTO HIMSELF, by David Ambrose, a British screenwriter. Dale in Ala., who'd love to be able to choose both forks and cover all the bases
 
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 09/03 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 6:11 PM And just think, Dale, there are forks within forks within...oh, you get the picture. Sherry
 
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 09/03 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 6:51 PM Sherry: Yes! Yes! Forks within forks within... The horror. The horror. Or is it, "The beauty. The beauty." Probably all of the above, and then some. Looks like real life is obsolescing the once-magical hall of mirrors... Dale, one of whose selves is theoretically in humid, 93-degree Ala., but we're promised high 70s and crisp by Saturday. Of course, that's just one fork...
 
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 09/13 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 11:09 AM I finished LOVE AND SLEEP a few weeks ago and haven't had time to get here and discuss...which takes half the fun out of the reading these days, I'm realizing. I did enjoy reading the posts from others as I read. Like most of you, there was much in this book that I didn't understand. Felt like I could study it along with some history texts for days and find layers and layers unfold. This also feels like a book that could do with a rereading. Unfortunately, too many other books are competing for my limited time. However, despite the fact that I felt like I was missing a lot, Crowley continued to draw me in with the quality of his writing and the insights. The following quote on parenting hit me with one of those moments of truth: "What parents knew about love and couldn't tell other people, who thought it was a project or an enterprise, a passion, a contest you won or lost. It wasn't. It was more like a wind, a steady wind, a wind you could not stand out of." Also, as I read the book, I grew to have a curious affection for Pierce, which surprised me. This is not a character I would have expected to like. However, his curious vulnerability as he wanders about the world alternately opening himself up to feeling and closing it off was hard to resist. The characters in the story in the past were just as sadly searching and the parallels were certainly there in the general feeling they evoked in me though much less familiar. On a more basic note, I kept feeling sorry for poor John Dee's wife as she followed him around the world with their family on his quest. Crowley's style of writing the way one would talk or think with half-finished sentences, etc. was also done quite well, I thought. It didn't distract me and yet felt right. Would never have read this without the CR list, Joe, because I would've dismissed it as fantasy. And, I would've missed some good writing. Thanks for nominating it. Barb

 

 

 
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