[DWJ] Cart and Cwidder (was Introductions)

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Jun 17 08:33:33 EDT 2007

Susanna wrote:

>P.S. Otter Perry wrote:
>>I reread Cart and Cwidder the least, I think, although I'm not sure

>I reread Cart & Cwidder the least of the Dalemark books, too.  I never
>thought much about why before, but I think it's partly because it's a much
>more straightforward story than the others.  The mythology is less
>important in it, and part of what I find so wonderful about the Dalemark
>books is the weaving of history, religion, and myth, and the interaction
>with the gods.  Also, for some reason I don't find the family dynamics in
>C*C very compelling.

That might be because there hardly are any, really.  It's a very
one-person-viewpoint book, isn't it, more about Moril growing into a person
outside the original family than about the family as it had been?  Moril is
working it all out as he goes along: he looks at the members of the family
and tries to decide what they are really like as people, but not what they
are like as father, mother, brother, sister or in relation to each other
except as contrasting personalities.  His interest is in how they resemble
each other or are different, and what each of them has inherited and from
where.  In some ways he is looking at them not as family but as a group of
strangers he happens to know rather well.  That's a muddled thought, and
even more muddling to be living it, but that is how it feels to me.

In fact, the "family" is destroyed early in the book, with Clennen's murder
and Lenina's immediate re-marriage to Ganner, and then Dagner's being
removed from the scene and believed dead.  Apart from Brid still being
around (and being less able than Moril to do things the way he wants them
done) the only "family" Moril is feeling really strongly about by the end
is Olob!  Hence his terrible reason for all the killing: he does it for the
sake of a horse, and he knows that must be wrong.  That horse is all that's
left of the life he was used to, almost, and no wonder he goes off the deep
end when Olob is killed.


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