Tuesday, 9 May 2017

"Star Of The Sea"

The many good points about Poul Anderson's "Star of the Sea" include:

the character of Veleda;
the colorful setting of contemporary Amsterdam;
the imaginative reconstruction of myths developing from inchoate paganism towards modern Catholicism;
information about the Northern Revolt, a real historical event;
seasonal changes and life in the wilderness;
the story's pivotal position in the Time Patrol series;
its innovative addition to temporal paradox;
evocative passages about the time-stream combined with concrete historical processes.

Addendum: I have said this better before. See here.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Where I hesitate is when you said "the imaginative reconstruction of developing from inchoate paganism towards modern Catholicism." I argue that what actually happened was Catholic Christianity supplanting and replacing paganism. Not that Christianity "developed from" paganism.


    1. Sean,
      Interesting points. I was only thinking of the star and sea symbols becoming associated with the Virgin Mary. However, lets look at the total picture -
      paganism: blood sacrifices to many gods;
      Mosaic Judaism: blood sacrifices to one god;
      prophetic Judaism: that one god is the only god;
      Christianity: one blood sacrifice to the only god.
      There is some continuity there.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I do see your point. I agree pre-Yahwistic paganism involved sacrifices of both animals and humans to many gods. And I would argue that with Judaism God began revealing Himself more and more openly to mankind--culminating with the once and for ever sufficient sacrifice of Christ.