Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Deeds And the Dead

How many sayings are there about deeds and death? Poul Anderson quotes:

"This I know that never dies:
"How dead men's deeds are deemed." (See here.)

In SM Stirling's The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Fourteen, Eiler quotes a verse that ends:

"No deeds can a dead man do." (p. 398)

The sayings are complementary. I cannot find Eiler's verse by googling but she attributes it to Odin whom she regards as unreliable. It is a challenging process first to quote a source, then to question its reliability. Neil Gaiman's Lucifer quotes, "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven," but then says that Milton was blind.

6 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Odin was certainly and unpleasant and unreliable "Person"! A "god" unworthy and undeserving of worship.

    I'm not sure what Neil Gaiman's Lucifer meant, not having read his works. But my recollection of what Milton meant was him believing Satan was too proud to accept that God is superior to him.

    Sean

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    1. Sean,
      John Milton, like Homer and Rhysling, was physically blind. Gaiman's Lucifer states this fact - then lets us infer a metaphorical blindness.
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Darn! I was trying to be too subtle and missed that fairly obvious point! (Smiles)

      Sean

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  2. That quote of Eilir's was used in "The Demon of Scattery", btw.

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    Replies
    1. Mr Stirling,
      Wow. Thanks. And I had no memory of it!
      Paul.

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    2. Dear Mr. Stirling,

      And I actually reread THE DEMON OF SCATTERY not that long ago! I'm chagrined at how I missed another deftly used Andersonian allusion/

      Sean

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