(urth) Katharine maid redux
bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 2 10:31:36 PST 2006
>If Sev's mother (as I think most of us agree) was handed over to the
>torturers for excruciation and (eventual) death, then the Maid who
>plays Katherine _isn't_ Sev's mother, putting an end to, at least,
>that line of speculation.
I thought the Katharine maid thread of last month developed a pretty good
theory on this which you might have missed?. Roy suggested Catherine was an
exultant and the maid her kaibit. Someone else (DD Jones?) proposed a
series of kaibits, accounting for her unchanging looks.
Someone suggested the maid's head really is cut off each year, but the stage
sword is "no more than a wooden batten provided with an old hilt and
brightened with tinsel" and the head is identified to be wax many times,
plus the maid emerges with her head attached soon after the faux chop.
I am convinced the woman Severian sees on the Path of Air is Catherine.
Severian can't understand why he seems to recognize her but is more confused
about how she seems to recognize him. His resemblance to Ouen could explain
it. This woman's oval face suggests the Pelerines, her "raven" hair and
dark complexion is just like the maid's. Her dark hair and pale gown are
mirrored in the woman Severian sees in the coffin (again, Severian doesn't
recognize someone out of context).
In Talos' distorted play, I think Contessa Carina is a distortion of
Chatelaine Catherine, making the woman an exultant. Allowing the maid to be
a kaibit explains her lesser stature. There are suggestions that Catherine,
the woman on the Path of Air, Contessa Carina, the maid and the woman in the
coffin all have been sentenced to (real or fictional) torture. I still like
the idea of younger Palaemon helping Catherine escape to the Path of Air,
explaining his exile and his attachment to Severian.
I seem to be alone in these sorts of perceptions, but perhaps that is more
reason for me to be so annoyingly redundant. To me this a similar case to
that of Father Inire. Usually we think of solving mystery identities by
deducing, X= A. I think in these two cases unseen characters Catherine and
Inire can only be identified by deducing X= A+B+C+D. Leaving out any
element results in an incomplete equation but together they add up (for me
anyway). Some doubts are assuaged by the transparent multiple identities of
the old Autarch. Wolfe seems to be thinking along these lines.
"Someday they'll want us" ;-)
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