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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) The Sidhe
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 16:23:00 

On Thu, 10 May 2001, Roy C. Lackey wrote:

> Rostrum asks:
> >>Btw, what do you see as the incongruity in the Sidhe story in PEACE?<<
> The basic story told by Wolfe--the children being turned into swans and
> their eventual passing--is one of the "Three Sorrowful Stories of Erin",
> known as the "Fate of the Children of LÍr" (or "Lyr"). In it, the children
> are turned to swans, not by their father in an attempt at immortality, but
> by their wicked, jealous stepmother in an effort to get them out of the way.
> Neither Deirdre (who is the subject of one of the other two "Sorrowful
> Stories", where she is a sort of Irish Helen), nor Cuchulainn (who belongs
> to another Irish mythological cycle altogether), have anything to do with
> it. In fact, the Milesians forbade any man to harm a swan because of fear of
> harming the children. And there were four of them, not three. The eldest,
> the girl, was named Finola, and her three brothers were Aed, Fiachra and
> Conn.

So, don't keep me in suspense--what happens to the children in the
original version?  Does it have the bit about the flock dwindling to a
single bird?  I think that's the coolest part of the story.  (Also,
Wolfe's bit about baptism captures what really happened to the pagans in
Ireland pretty well.  And the baptism vs. attempted immortality is what
makes it such a good end to Weer's story.)


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

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