Saturday, 17 August 2013
Every word of the story is perfect:
how the narrator finds the inn on a country road at night;
the signboard creaking in the wind;
the bronze elephant's head handle;
the interior of the inn, which I described in an earlier post.
We might expect the narrator to meet someone who recounts a single story to him and thus also to us. Instead, this is like a real night at the Old Phoenix. We read snatches of conversation, some that the narrator engages in and others that he overhears. We easily recognize two famous political leaders from different parts of the British Isles although one is not named and the other not till the end.
Francois Villon composes verses about Harald Hardrada and Simon Bolivar, thus echoing two other works by Anderson, and we understand that, on a previous night at the Old Phoenix, Villon had not interacted amicably with Kit Marlowe.
It is getting late so I will finish reading tomorrow.