Friday, 27 May 2016

"Complete Consistency Is Possible Only To The Almighty"

In Poul and Karen Anderson's King of Ys Tetralogy, Niall and Maeloch drank together in Ys but do not recognize each other when they meet later in Hivernia so here is a rare inconsistency in an Andersonian text. It is simply a reminder that any text is not a window into another reality but an artifact that can contain errors. In a revised text, this inconsistency might be removed by changing the identity of the Ysan with whom Niall drank in the previous volume.

Sean Brooks discusses a prima facie contradiction in Anderson's Dominic Flandry series here. Elsewhere on the blog, I discuss whether Merseians are mammals and which Vach Tachwyr the Dark belongs to. However, anyone who searches for inconsistencies in Poul Anderson's works will have to read many volumes before they maybe find an occasional error here or there.

Any text, even if published, is a work in progress. It may be revised by the author in later editions or might have been revised if the author had lived longer. Any well written text is also as close to perfection as its author(s) could make it and The King Of Ys is very close.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Thanks for mentioning and linking to my discussion of the contradiction I found by comparing THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN to "Honorable Enemies." Yes, Poul Anderson made amazingly few mistakes or contradictions in his works. And even those contradictions are well worth discussion if ingenious means of reconciling them can be found.