Monday, 30 June 2014

Literature

(This cover illustration looks like Rochefort attacked by an Ythrian.)

Ferune, Wyvan of Mistwood Choth on Avalon and First Marchwarden of the Lauran System, reads:

"...Terran classics...in three original languages, for enjoyment."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 454.

In the command bridge of his superdreadnaught, Hell Rock, before battle, he remembers:

"The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion; whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul." (p. 519)

When he sees Morgana, the moon of Avalon, moving around the dark side of the planet, he murmurs, "Oh moon of my delight that knows no wane -" (p. 526).

We would like to hear more from Ferune but he dies in this conflict. Anderson not only quotes Terran classics but also transposes the alliterative verse form into Planha, which Arinnian translates into Anglic:

"Blind in the black of clawing cloudbanks,
"wins he his way, though slowly,
"breaks their barrier, soars in sunlight.
"High is heaven and holy." (p. 452)

And that last quoted line concludes the novel:

"Snowpeaks flamed. The sun stood up in a shout of light.
"High is heaven and holy." (p. 662)

Sometimes, we forget space battles and enjoy Poul Anderson's use of the English language.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Paul!

    I don't think the cover for this edition of THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND shows Phlippe Rocheforte being attacked by a Ythrian. Rather, it shows Christopher Holm carrying an exhausted and brutalized Eyath after she was raped by Draun.

    And it was interesting to see how Ferune included the Bible among those Terran classics he read. He was recalling Proverbs 20.2 while on the command bridge of his flagship. I'll quote the Douai-Reims-Challoner version: "As the roaring of a lion, so also is the dread of a king: he that provoketh him, sinneth against his own soul."
    The New Jerusalem Bible translates Proverbs 20.2 as: "Like the roaring of a lion is the fury of a king: whoever provokes him sins against himself."

    This makes me wonder if Ferune had a moment of doubt about the wisdom of war with the Empire, that Ythri might perhaps had been too inflexible, too unwilling to make concessions in the negotiations with the Empire before war broke out.

    Sean

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