The Catalogue of the Universe Literary Qualities

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Margaret Mahy is well known for works that incorporate a substantial amount of fantasy and reference to the supernatural, in The Changeover, The Haunting, and The Tricksters, for instance. The Catalogue of the Universe does not rely to any significant degree on the supernatural, but a remark Mahy has made about her novel Memory applies equally to Catalogue: "The fantasy of earlier books of mine is still present, but in the imaginative subtext rather than explicit in any happenings in the story."

This subtext appears most strongly in the mythical aspects of the story. This mythology is signaled by the choice of character and place names. The name Dido conjures up the myth of Aeneas and Dido, the queen of Carthage. In his adventures en route to the founding of Rome, Aeneas meets and makes love to Dido, whom he then abandons.

Clearly this parallels the relationship between...

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This section contains 659 words
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