Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Some Points to Note In "The Only Game In Town"
(i)"Kublai" (p. 133): a sovereign or military ruler.
(ii) Anderson establishes early, on p. 135, that Everard and Sandoval have taken Scotch to 1280 AD because that will be important later, when the fate of the universe depends on a drinking session.
(iii) "Noyon" (p. 135), or "Noyan," was a title of authority, originally meaning "military commander," in the Mongol Empire.
(iv) "'The Tengri willing...'" (p. 137): misled both by the definite article and by the "-i" ending, which resembles a Latin masculine plural, I thought that the Tengri were the gods. In fact, Tengri, or the Tengri, is the chief Mongol god, the Sky-Father, married to the Earth-Mother.
(v) Bonwit Teller (p. 140): I had no idea what this meant, a quality New York department store - which went bankrupt thirty years after "The Only Game In Town" was published.
(vi) A Confucian scholar says, "'I am a stranger and ignorant...Forgive me if I do not understand your talk of irresistible weapons.'" (p. 144) Everard thinks, "Which is the politest way I've ever been called a liar..." (ibid.) More humor, I think. Excellent scholarly Diplomatese.
(vii) "Coronado" (p. 147) was a Spanish conquistador who visited North America.
(viii) "Pueblos" (p. 147) are Native American communities living in large buildings. Pueblo is Castilian for "town," derived from Latin populus, "people."
(ix) "Grand Cham" (p. 149): I could not find this on google.
(x) "Sachem" (p. 149): a paramount chief among some Native American tribes. The term is used in Poul Anderson's There Will be Time.
(xi) A "...yeibichai..." (p. 153) is a Navajo dance. The yeii are supernatural beings.
(xii) A "potlach" is a gift-giving feast among some Native American tribes.