Monday, 16 May 2016

Ys And The Village II

(i)-(vii) here.

(viii) One Prisoner episode set in a Wild West town with a Mayor instead of a No 2 turns out to have been a drug-induced illusion. However, it raises the possibility of projecting the Prisoner scenario into other times and places, for example an Ysan version:

when the King dies other than by combat in the Wood, the Ysans buy and crown a slave;

we imagine a British slave branded VI;

spectral forms prevent VI from escaping along the beach;

he fails to change the Ysan constitution but outmaneuvers his opponents on the Council, e.g., forcing the resignation of a hostile Lir Captain;

he stows away to Britannia but is returned to Ys;

the Witch-Queens conjur visions of other fabulous realms;

VI, the avatar of Taranis, realizes his identity with the God and destroys Ys.

(ix) Back to the original series and novels: life continues. When the freed No 6 returns to his apartment, the hearse that had abducted him passes again. The forces of unfreedom are ever present. Even when no longer King, Gratillonius continues to resist the decay of civilization.

(x) No 6 emphasizes the claims of the individual as against society whereas Gratillonius emphasizes both justice to individuals and the social good.
No 6 is a self-sufficient individual whereas Gratillonius is a competent leader.
No 6 aims to retire and do what he wants whereas Gratillonius continues to work for the good of society.
No 6 emancipates himself from social control whereas Gratillonius emancipates Ysan and Armorican society from barbarian attacks and imperial control. (Later: see comment.)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I would argue rather, that what we see in THE DOG AND THE WOLF was Gratillonious, who WANTED to remain loyal to the Empire, gradually taking steps leading to de facto Armorican secession from the Empire. Because the Empire was failing to minimally provide for the common good by maintaining peace and keeping the barbarians out. Iow, what I would call the beginnings of Gallo/Roman war-lordism.

And it's only fair to say that during the last ten years of his reign the Emperor Honorius (died in 423) managed to restore some sort of shaky unity to the Western Empire, even including the reoccupation of Britannia. And the Afterword or Notes to THE DOG AND THE WOLF says the Armoricans came to terms with Honorius and acknowledged his rule, at least formally.