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Author Topic: Mortimer in "The March"  (Read 1798 times)
Juan Miranda
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« on: January 03, 2007, 02:46:41 PM »

On the loooong journey home for the holidays I read E. L. Doctrow's interesting novel THE MARCH.

Set during the US Civil War, it follows Sherman's progress throu' Georgia to the sea. Among it's large cast of characters (the book is a would be epic) I was surprised and delighted to suddely find a "Colonel Mortimer" appearing in the Union Army. He even has a sister, six of 'em in fact. Due to events in the book, he is clearny not "our" man as portrayed by Lee Van Cleef, however, I did wonder if Doctrow was using the name as a deliberate homage to Leone's film?

His first name's "Melrose", by the way. I far prefer "Old Man" myself.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2007, 05:09:51 PM »

Any mention of Mortimer's twin brother, the evil Angel Eyes?

But getting back to your question, what we have here is not two different characters, but the same character passed down to us through two different sources of transmission. We can designate these different traditions Source Doctorow and Source Leone. Neither of these sources can offer a complete portrait of "Col. Mortimer"; a certain amount of interpolation is necessary before we can get down to the historical Mortimer, buried, as he is, deep under the heavily encrusted layers of legend, myth, and folklore. It is also necessary to consult other traditions, variants suppressed by the dominant culture because they did not agree with the values that culture wished to preserve (In one such "heretical" tradition, the Mortimer family came not from "Carolina", but from Virginia). A thorough exploration of this subject will require years and any number of grant applications. Who is willing to answer the call?

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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2007, 08:52:14 PM »

 Grin

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