Monday, 17 March 2014

A Sanctuary To The Future

Poul Anderson, The Corridors Of Time (London, 1968).

"...neither Warden nor Ranger must prevail. They had to wear each other down, until what was good in both stood forth above the wreck of what was evil and the world of John and Mary could take shape." (p. 214)

That must be what happened. No final onslaught by either side. The Rangers lose Brann and Storm claims that she "'...can think circles around Garwen..." (p. 178), his successor. But then the Wardens lose Storm. When the only two Wardens in Avildaro, Storm and Hu, are killed in what looks like a barbarian attack, their colleagues will conclude that Storm's project of controlling Northern Europe was, as they thought, ill-advised. This gives Lynx room to forge a realm free from the time war and contributing a positive legacy to history.

Symbolically, Lynx puts Storm:

" rest, with her lieutenant and her great enemy at her feet..." (p. 222)

He thinks:

"We will build a sanctuary the worship of Her Who will one day be called Mary." (ibid.)

(At the end of "Star Of The Sea," Veleda's goddess has bequeathed her star and her sea to Mary.)

Lynx is able to look ahead first to the replacement of the goddess by Mary, then to the age of John and Mary.

Even when Malcolm Lockridge/Lynx is Storm's prisoner, she says in his language:

"'Well, Malcolm...I find I must come when you ask.'" (p. 198)

Does she have some feeling for him? I think that whatever feelings she has are entirely subordinated by her centuries of power politics and manipulation. She automatically lies to Malcolm about Brann, saying that the prisoner psychoprobed for months has no rational mind left whereas in truth Brann remains rational enough to beg for death. Even before he knew that last damning fact, such treatment of an enemy was what had finally turned Malcolm against Storm.

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