Sunday, 2 December 2012

Seasons And The Mermen

In The Merman's Children (London, 1981), as in The King Of Ys (co-written by Karen Anderson), Poul Anderson shows the passage of time by marking the seasons.

"Summer had passed, fall come back." (p. 185)

"...it was necessary to wait until snow had fallen and igloos could be built. That time soon came." (p. 191)

"...winter had become...a time of aloneness..." (p. 206)

"Earlier in spring than skippers liked to fare - before the very equinox - a ship left Copenhagen..." (p. 209)

"Rain sluiced from heaven, brawled across roofs, made rivers of city streets." (p. 217)

"Spring ran wild with blossoms and birdsong..." (p. 219)

"...toward midsummer, the cog reached Dalmatia..." (p. 220)

"In summer, when trees gave shade against the sun..." (p. 233)

"Summer descended toward autumn." (p. 235)

"On the feast of St Matthew the Apostle..." (p. 239)

"Snowflakes drifted thinly out of a sky already dusking." (p. 244)

"Early one spring..." (p. 246)

"Time passed. Raw winds and lashing rains gave way to blossoms..." (p. 246)

"...this was the feast of St Hans, when the sun is not long nor far below Danish horizons." (p. 254)

"In May of the year of Our Lord 1312 died Pavle Subitj..." (p. 257)

As in The King Of Ys, I find more such passages than expected when scrolling to find them. We accompany the characters through the cycles of the year, through many such years and into old age. In 1322, Father Tomislav, white and gnarled, preaches to a congregation including widowed, graying Captain Andrei, an appropriate conclusion. (p. 257)

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