Tuesday, 23 September 2014

An Argument About Flandry

Where Terrans say "hand in hand," Merseians say, "'...tail-entwined...'" (Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 280), even when speaking of tailless Terrans.

Morioch Sun-in-eye thinks that the prisoner Flandry should be interrogated first because he worked tail-entwined with the troublemaker Max Abrams against Brechdan Ironrede in the Starkad affair and secondly because it seems too big a coincidence that, of every possible pilot, Flandry was the one who went to the lost planet.

The datholch Ydwyr the Seeker replies that:

Flandry cannot have any information not already known to the Merseians;
"interrogation" would leave him of no use for anything else;
there is no connection between his previous association with Abrams and his adventure on Wayland:

"'He is precisely the type to whom such things occur. If one exposes oneself to life, qanryf, life will come to one.'" (p. 280)

When we can see past his (subtle) racism, Ydwyr is wise. A Wiccan high priest recently taught me that, if we go out to meet life, then life comes to meet us. The gods respond if we approach them.

The Merseain authorities agree with Ydwyr. Rather surprisingly, I thought, no order comes to interrogate Flandry although Ydwyr pretends that such an order has come in order to manipulate Djana. Here again we lose sympathy with Ydwyr.

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