Friday, 29 April 2016

Gratillonius and Dahilis

The Ysans' difficulty with Gratillonius' name continues. Dahilis says:

'''...Gra- Gratillonius.'
"Her Latin weak, she occasionally had trouble keeping the syllables of his name in place." (Roma Mater, p. 166)

Gratillonius takes the opportunity to practise his Ysan. Poul Anderson's fiction refers to several languages that we would like to hear:

League Latin (surely a simplified form).

In Star Trek films, Vulcan and Klingon are spoken with subtitles. If Anderson's works were to be adapted, then a script writer might devise a few sentences in some of his fictional languages. Manse Everard of the Time Patrol once says in Temporal: "'Everard Unattached. Come immediately. Combat.'" That should be spoken too fast for us to discern the syllables but subtitled in English.

The seventeen year old Dahilis must advise Gratillonius that he is obliged to give attention to all his wives who are her Sisters in the Mystery. She prays to Belisama that Gratillonius live for many years and that she die before him. She promises to return in the sea.

Dahilis' prayers will be answered. She will die before him and will return in the sea.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

We do know "Anglic" was what our English became in Anderson's Technic Civilization stories. And that it had changed enough that Dominic Flandry mentioned in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS that he read a TRANSLATION of one of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems.

And it was interesting that the Polesotechnic League used Latin as a common language to be used by both humans and non humans. Why not Anglic, however?

While Dahilis prayed she would not have to live to see Gratillonius slain by a challenger, I'm sure she hoped to live for another five or six years. Her early death might be meant by the Andersons to indicate the ruthless "gods" of Ys were already preparing to renounce their pact.