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From: tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk (Tony Ellis)
Subject: (urth) Peace of Cat
Date: 15 Apr 1998 16:31:24 +0100

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

 Peace of Cat

Rostrum wrote:
>I love the story of the Sidhe and the flock of geese at the very end of
>the book, but I don't think I quite get it.  I mean, I enjoy the story all
>by itself, but I don't see what it has to do with Weer's story.  Given the
>placement of the story there must be some connection I'm missing.
>Anyone see something here I'm missing?

Well, the story is about something outliving its time, that's the point
made in the very last line. And that is what Weer has been doing. At
the time Dan is telling him that story he is an old man, who has outlived
most of his contemporaries. He is also a dead man, wandering through
his memories, so he's outlived his time in a more literal sense too.

Since this story comes right before the very last paragraph of the novel,
I think it serves to make Weer realise it's time to let go. Perhaps that's
why he tells it to himself.

William Ansley wrote (re The Cat):
>If anyone has any insights into this story, I'd really appreciate hearing 

My copy of Endangered Species is a hundred miles away, so apologies
if my memory lets me down...

This is the other side of the story we hear about in Conciliator, when Jonas
and Severian have been put into the antechamber. As you say, the scandal
was engineered by the spiteful Chatelaine Leocadia. The significance of the
doll is that it is a kind of voodoo doll of Sancha - Leocadia obviously used 
to manipulate Sancha into her disgrace. Her faithful phantom cat has brought
it to light to reveal the crime.

I don't -think- the cat becomes a phantom cat because of anything
Father Inire does - it's just a consequence of being flung carelessly
into the mirrors. It's become a sort of witch's familiar.

Odilo sends the pawprinted counterpane to Leocadia as a way of directing
the cat to her - he's not stupid. Presumably she sleeps with it on her bed,
allowing the phantom cat to creep into the dreams of its mistress's enemy.

The significance of the last line is that Leocadia callously used Sancha's
servant to bring about her disgrace. As we know from Conciliator, poor
Lomer was imprisoned for the rest of his life for his part in the affair. 
another servant, is affronted by this. So he sends Leocadia the

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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