Monday, 24 November 2014

Le Matelot

Le Matelot comments on the early days of the Polesotechnic League. His opening words:

"'The world's great age begins anew...'
"As it has before and will again."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (New York, 2009), p. 555,

and his conclusion:

"We do not know where we are going. Nor do most of us care. For us it is enough that we are on our way." (p. 556)

- are inspiring.

"...sailing out among the stars..." makes him and his contemporaries "...akin to Europeans overrunning America or Greeks colonizing the Mediterranean littoral..." (p. 555)

They have a frontier along which they discover, pioneer, trade, proselytize and compose epics and sagas. Technic civilization, different from either Classical or Western, spreads itself thinly across unimaginable volumes of space, learns from non-human peoples and changes unpredictably. The Polesotechnic League, although analogous to European medieval mercantile guilds and descended from Terrestrial concepts, also mutates and miscegenates unpredictably.

And that thought leads Le Matelot to his magnificent conclusion.  

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