Friday, 16 November 2012

Who To Call On?

In Poul and Karen Anderson's The Dog And The Wolf (London, 1989), the religious changes continue. The fisherman Catto:

living on Ysan territory, had invoked the Three of Ys;
but, embittered at them after the city had foundered, learned to call on Christ;
but then, thinking that God would have "' ear for the likes of us...,'" instead asked "holy Martinus," St Martin, to bring them in safe (p. 469);
then, in desperation, offered " '...the Powers whatever they want for our lives...' " (p. 469);
but, thinking that this might have been an unlucky invocation, fumbled for a better one;
then said " 'Christ ha' mercy...,' " while his companion Surach mouthed spells over a seal bone amulet, when it seemed that they would be wrecked (p. 469);
finally, thanked holy Martinus, although Surach muttered, " 'If 'twas him,' " when they seemed to be safe;
and avoided shelter that might be haunted;
but then encountered Dahut who still spoke for the Three.

The basic worldview has not changed. The One God is remote. Other Powers, helpful or hostile, are nearer. Catto had asked Martinus not to intercede with God - the Christian formula - but to intervene in events - the Pagan formula. Thus, he treats St Martin more like a god than a saint.

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