Sunday, 26 March 2017

Friend Flandry

It might be thought that this post belongs on the Religion and Philosophy blog but I think that it belongs here.

Meditation cannot just be development of self. It also points towards a better relationship if not with one supreme person then at least with other finite persons. This relationship encompasses appreciation of fictional persons whom we share with their creators and with other readers. Friends and fictions are parts of us.

I could at this stage write a long list of characters created by Poul Anderson and by other writers discussed on this blog. However, this is unnecessary. We know what names belong on the list. Readers will produce different, although overlapping, lists.

This post is appropriately illustrated with an image of Dominic Flandry - even more appropriately in combat.

7 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The idea of personally knowing and being friends with one's favorite fictional characters does appeals to me! I can list quite a few I wish I coul be friends with: Cervantes's Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Avram Davidson's Dr. Engelbert Eszterhazy, and of course characters created by Poul Anderson such as Nicholas van Rijn, Dominic Flandry, Manse Everard, Gratillonius, Anson Guthrie, etc. But I don't know if THEY would have liked me! (Smiles)

S.M. Stirling has also created interesting characters some of whom I would hope to be friends with: the conflicted, tormented Eric von Shrakenberg, Mike Havel, and some of the characters seen IN THE COURTS OF THE CRIMSON KINGS.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
Also, we engage with the fictional characters already by imagining and sharing them.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Exactly! Simply by thinking about, writing commentaries, and discussions of such characters and the stories they appear in IS to engage with them.

Sean

Ketlan said...

The only characters from fiction that I've ever wanted to meet in real life have been Sam Vimes and Esme Weatherwax, (though I'm sure the latter would have been a very difficult person to know and love) both via the late and very lamented Terry Pratchett.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Ketlan!

Thanks for commenting! Alas, since I've read none of Pratchett's works I can't comment on how I would regard Sam Vimes and Esme Weathermax. I did know the name "Esme" was borne by a kinsman and favorite of James VI of Scotland, Esme Stuart! (Smiles)

Sean

David Birr said...

Sean:
"Esme" in this case is short for "Esmeralda," a witch also known as "Granny" Weatherwax, although she not only had no offspring but at age 70-something remains qualified to control unicorns. She has many of the aspects of an EVIL witch, but is in fact GOOD ... albeit uncomfortable to be around. She finds this irksome, thinking that it would've been more fun to be evil.

Sam Vimes commands the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, His Grace the Duke of Ankh. He started off as an impoverished commoner and earned his titles by devotion to justice and Ankh-Morpork. It's been said of him that he wishes he could arrest the Creator of the Universe for doing a shoddy job. He has a definite anti-authoritarian streak, despite the fact that he IS Authority.

Something they have in common is that they don't entirely trust themselves, and constantly scrutinize their own actions for signs that power is corrupting them. Vimes has something almost like a split personality dedicated to this, and this other persona tells an adversary, "I am not here to keep darkness out. I'm here to keep it in."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Thanks for your interesting comments about Sam Vimes and ESMERALDA Weatherwax. My ignorance of Terry Prartchett's works is a sad gap in my knowledge of SF and F.

And I approve of how Vimes and Weatherwax are so skeptical of people who hold power, because of how power can so easily corrupt them. AND include themselves in this skepticism.

Sean