Marcia Karp wrote (2/23/03):

> I didn't know "Lil's husband appears in
>  'A Game of Chess' ." How so?

Oops: "appears" is certainly the wrong word. I should have said that he's
referred to in "A Game of Chess".

> the common method of dramatization (though the style,
> let's call it, of the dramas differ) connect
> the bar scene and the chess game. And, then,
> as you point out, so does the matter of nerves.

I was thinking of perhaps a more direct connection. In a post from 2/22/03
Nancy had mentioned that the phrase "rats' alley" may refer to the trenches
in WW1. So we have:

'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'

I think we are in rats' alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

   The image I got from mentally combining Nancy's post and Carrol's post was
two people in a trench in WW1 (rats' alley), and one of the "soldiers"
becoming hysterical the way Carrol's post described ("My nerves are bad
to-night. Yes, bad."). Or more precisely, the Cleoparta woman first exhibits
a bad case of 'nerves' and this exhibition mentally projects the narrator
into a trench scene from WW1.

   This would be an implied comparison of the woman (and the narrator's life
with the woman) to the "nervous" life experienced by WW1 combatants. It is
this connection (the "rats' alley/nerves" and the "WW1 soldiers' war nerves")
that I hadn't made before.

-- Steve --