Monday, 22 December 2014

South Pacific Sunset

"Burnt orange shading to molten gold and far-flung coral, sunset lay extravagant over the ocean. Light bridged the waters from horizon to surf. High in the west stood Venus."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 202.

I often commend Anderson's descriptions of natural beauty but this passage is particularly striking. Chee Lan rides Adzel along a beach. A lesser writer would have proceeded directly to their conversation. And that conversation is of the imminent coming to an end of their way of life. Thus, the sunset is yet another pathetic fallacy.


"'Oh, I regret nothing. The years have been good. I will but wish my children have the same fortune I did, to fare among miracles.'" (p. 204)


"'I likewise...though I'm afraid - I'm afraid we've had the best of what there was. The time that is coming -.' Her voice trailed off." (ibid.)


"'You are not compelled to endure the future today...Let us savor this final adventure of ours for what it is.'" (ibid.)

Anderson sustains this feeling of finality from, in this edition, p. 1 to p. 291. The reader knows that the History continues but accepts that the Polesotechnic League has had its day - and also savors the characters' responses to the end of their era.

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