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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) Tracking dreams
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 1997 10:40:20 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

I thought I'd do dreams myself, so this may cross mantis's interpretation.

The dreams seem pretty clearly brought on by the staff. Cutthroat gets the
staff on the tenth day and throws it away (leaves it behind) on the morning
of the 16th. During three of the six nights that it is in his possession,
he has horrific dreams of violence.

In the first, he relives the episode of Cim's kidnapping, and the Min
missile strikes him again, this time much more painfully, and he feels
further separated from the Great Sleigh than ever. Two nights go by without
dreams, but on the night of the 13th days he relives killing the Min with
the endieva wand over and over again, although the Min offers to be his
slave. "I was frantic and ashamed, guilty because I was killing someone who
only wished to be my friend---yet at the same time, I wanted him to die at
once so that no one need know." The next night he dreams of killing Mantru
again, and, on waking, has an insight about the power of the staff. The
following day, after a dreamless night, he abandons the staff and, despite
the pain of his wound, he counts that day as "the happiest of my life."

The description of the staff is right out of Weird Tales, and we know right
away that it is evil. Only a human can wield it. I guess it represents
technology in the unnatural weapons-of-destruction sense, with a sort of
ecological moral tied to it---it will destroy for you, but it will destroy
you too. 

Interesting, especially in light of Ratty's insight that everyone loves
Cutthroat---welcome back, Ratty!---that though Cutthroat has ordered the
Min walled up for the time being, he sees this Min as a potential friend.
Though the earlier Min wound may kill him.

-alga (not feeling quite mantic enough for this)-

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