Thursday, 4 May 2017
On The Third Day...
What happened on the third day? Apparently the number three had a symbolic significance. It was the length of time when the link between a dead body and its departed spirit had finally been severed so that there could be no return. We would say that Sunday was the second day after Friday but the phrases "on the third day" or "after three days" were significant.
"On the third day he arose, and ascended again to the light."
-Poul Anderson, The Day Of Their Return IN Anderson, CAPTAIN FLANDRY Defender Of The Terran Empire (Baen Books, Riverdale, NY, 2010), pp. 74-240 AT 1, p. 75.
(A grammatical point: I would put the comma after "day," not after "arose.")
Anderson knew exactly what he was doing with the phrases, "third day," "arose," "ascended" and "light." I am not sure whether Ian Fleming was on the same wavelength:
"On the morning of the third day a bloody nightmare shook him awake..."
-Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (London, 1965), Chapter 19, p. 132.
(I would have put a comma after "day.")
Bond has nearly been killed and has been semiconscious for two days. On the third day, he wakes...
In Bond's first novel, he wakes on the third day...
At the end of his fifth novel, the reader thinks that he is dead.
At the end of his eleventh novel, his friends, colleagues and public think that he is dead.
Near the end of his twelfth and last novel, he is shot and lies unconscious...
Thus, whether or not Fleming meant anything by his "On the morning of the third day...," there is quite a lot of death and resurrection symbolism in the Bond novels.