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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) Peachy scarf!
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 97 13:59:00 GMT

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Reply:  Item #4247449 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INTERNET#


Oh, you're right that the scarf on the Whorl isn't given a color.
The peach-color is by association with Blood's handkerchief.  The
Whorl scarf scent isn't described either; the handkerchief probably
gets more description.

The Urth scarf is peach colored and scented with an offworldly
fragrence.  It is also the bait of a trap; Severian picks it up and
the nameless little girl (her name is probably something like a
starship crew job title) warns him to put it down or else the whips
will come back to get it.  This serves as a partial trigger to his
Thecla memories.

It is interesting to see the recurring use of such a distinctive
prop.  (I'd be even more happy to find something about those musical
instruments in the shop window--a puzzler!)  Lately as I drift around
with all these symbols (not cymbals), I wonder about little things
like peacocks: they do have a mythical charge, associated with Hera
(by way of Argos) I believe . . . yes, it is that Zeus-Io-Hera
triangle.  So anyway, I start wondering how Orchid, who uses peacock
feathers as writing quills, might be like Hera; then I suppose that
the man outside Ermine's with the peacock feather in his hat is somehow
a spy for Orchid (or Hera, or Echidna?).

Then I drift from book to book and notice that in TBOTNS it is Agia
who is associated with peacocks with her "pavonine" brochade dress.
Which is interesting--Agia as an avenging Hera, Dorcas as Io (not to
mention the Soldier series), and Severian as Zeus the amorous.  I've
often wondered about the animal fable layer to TBOTNS, especially
when some characters have clear animal names: Dorcas means gazelle,
Hildegrin is called the Badger, Talos has the face of a stuffed fox,
and so on.  So I watch for other animal aspects to show up.

But anyway, all this is back burner stuff.


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