Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Waving Goodbye

Do the dead communicate with the living? Do they even exist? When my mother-in-law was dying, she failed to recognize one of her granddaughters. Later, that granddaughter visited a spaewife who said, "The lady is sorry that she did not recognize you." I deduce not that there is a hereafter but that here is a phenomenon requiring further investigation.

When Gratillonius returns to Confluentes:

"For an instant Dahilis flitted through his awareness. He thought she smiled and waved. A farewell? She was gone."
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XXV, section 1, p. 491.

Has Dahilis really returned to wave goodbye, knowing that the issue of their daughter, Dahut, will soon to be resolved? Dahut has sent a madman carrying a waterlogged toy that her father will recognize because he made it for her. In fact, this was her favorite. It seems like a cruel taunt but Gratillonius thinks that she is calling him. Does she want his destruction or a reconciliation? In any case, the narrative approaches its conclusion.

When Gratillonius goes to confer with the Bishop, his wife, Verania, waves as Dahilis had waved. Is this farewell from the living as well as from the dead? Fortunately not. But dark portents are abroad. The reader must continue to the end to be sure of the outcome.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm EXTREMELY dubious of the wisdom of consulting spaewives or mediums of any kind. Catholics are forbidden to consult mediums, practice divination, or hire genuine black magicians. Because to do so is to fall into superstition.

I think what happened to Gratillonius as regards Dahilis was him vividly REMEMBERING her for a moment. And I fear Dahut the Siren was most likely trying to lure her father to destruction.