Sunday, 27 January 2013
Harald: The scores of longships are a brave sight.
Elizabeth: Weapons and warships are the loveliest artifacts.
Harald: Not books or icons?
Elizabeth: Books and icons are holy. However, the instruments of death, neither gilded nor covered with twined serpents but serving a purpose, are clean and strong, like God's purposive creations - men, animals, mountains, sunsets etc.
That is quite a thought. As it happens, I do not believe that men etc were created for any purpose but nevertheless I can find some common ground with Elizabeth. She mentions:
"'...not only the aim of salvation but also the common purpose of eating and walking and working, of staying alive.'" (p. 182)
That common purpose I believe we were not made for but were naturally selected for so it makes sense to find an aesthetic in common between organisms selected for survival and artifacts constructed for a purpose. And I did not expect to have that discussion when starting to read The Sign Of The Raven.