Friday, 24 June 2016

Bjarki II

Sorry. I had to interrupt blogging to watch TV coverage of the consequences of our referendum result.

As Bjarki approached King Hrolf's court:

"The rain was past, the sky dazzling, sunlight asparkle on puddles in the brown earth and on wet boughs where a few leaves still flamed. Starlings flocked, robins hopped in fields, curlews whistled merrily through a cool damp breeze." (Hrolf Kraki's Saga, p. 169)

dazzling sky
sparkling sunlight
brown earth
flaming leaves
flocking starlings
hopping robins

merry whistling

Physical sensations
the pressure of a breeze

Pathetic Fallacy
Nature welcomes Bjarki to King Hrolf's court.

Bjarki tells a groom to curry his horse well. Wikipedia tells us here that on arrival Bjarki, like Beowulf, kills a beast that has terrorized the hall for a while. I could not remember from previous reading of the Saga and thought that Anderson might have left out this story because of its similarity to the Beowulf-Grendel fight that we have already had. However, here it is on p. 175: "The beast."


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I'm very pleased the voters of the UK chose for their country to leave the failed and increasingly oppressive and bureacratically sclerotic EU! As Nigel Farage said, June 23rd was the UK's declaration of independence!

    I'm not surprised at how detailed Poul Anderson's descriptions can be. He has repeatedly visited Denmar (and I'm sure Norway and Sweden as well). And I remember reading somewhere of how he and his wife visited Brittany (I almost typed ARMORICA!) as part of their research for THE KING OF YS. But, he's just as skillful in describing places he has never seen in person--such as other planets (Diomedes, Aeneas, Dennitza, Merseia, etc., comes to mind).


    1. Sean,
      The Andersons mention visiting Brittany in the Afterword to YS, Vol IV.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      That's probably where I came across mention of the Andersons visiting Brittany!

      Dang! ARMORICA was the first name I thought of. Not Brittany.


    3. Sean,
      The vote was close. The country is bitterly divided. The Prime Minister has resigned. The Leader of the Opposition is being challenged. Scotland wants another Independence Referendum. A lot of the Leave campaign was xenophobic although there are those of us who always challenge that. We are only at the beginning of a long process.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      Yes, I have heard of how some Scots are talking of another attempt at secession from the UK. Have they thought this THROUGH, however? Do they really think the EU would pay for the kind of welfare (sic) system they get as part of the UK? I doubt the long suffering taxpayers of Germany, after repeated bailouts of a bankrupt Greece, are in the mood to do the same for Scotland!

      Yes, I agree legitimate concerns over unrestricted immigration of foreigners have sometimes gone too far in the direction of xenophobia. But I know you know that was not the case with many, many who voted "Leave."

      Recall the arguments in the NATIONAL REVIEW article I sent you, the UK's real, long term interests (including those of Scotland!) lies with trade and commerce with all the rest of the world, not an increasingly protectionist EU. I'm hoping once that sinks in people will calm down and work for severing ties with the EU as quickly and smoothly as possible.

      I'm not surprised PM Cameron and the Opposition Leader are in so much trouble. They made the fatal mistake of misjudging how deep and widespread contempt and dislike for the EU was throughout the UK, esp. in England/Wales.


  2. Sean:
    You say the UK voters chose -- but with a vote THAT close, it's clear the decision WASN'T to the liking of many of the voters. I'm hearing that there's a sharp split on generational lines: something like three-quarters of those 24 and under wanted to stay in the EU. If those figures are correct, I predict a TROUBLED society in years to come.

    1. David,
      Divided? Deffo!

      We discuss everything here: Denmark under Hrolf and UK in or out of EU.

  3. Paul and Sean:

    VERY bad inter-generational feelings. Everything below is quoted from a *New York Times* article:
    “We’re the ones who’ve got to live with it for a long time, but a group of pensioners have managed to make a decision for us,” Mr. Phillips, 27, said on Friday of Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union. He said he was now “terrified” about the country’s economic prospects.

    Louise Driscoll, a 21-year-old barista in London, spent most of the day crying. “I had a bad feeling in my gut,” she said of Britain’s referendum on Europe. “What do we do now? I’m very scared.” Her parents both voted to leave the bloc, she said, and “will probably be gloating.”

    The vote to leave the European Union exposed tensions and fault lines in British society, but perhaps none more gaping than its generational divisions.


    Many young Britons expressed astonishment, anger or despair that their parents and grandparents would seek to limit the travel, exposure to other cultures and opportunities to work and study abroad that being part of the European Union has afforded them.

    “Truly gutted that our grandparents have effectively decided that they hate foreigners more than they love us and our futures,” one young Briton, Dan Boden, wrote on Twitter.

    1. Hi, David!

      I certainly agree a 52/48 percent vote was narrow. And I agree it also shows stresses and strains, some of them along generational lines, in the UK. But I disagree with some of the reasons for staying in the failed EU. For example, will it really be that hard for a Briton to simply get a passport to use for traveling to, say, Italy?

      And I don't understand the bit about "exposure" to other cultures. What is MEANT, in this context, by "culture"? Too often, in the West, it seems to mean nothing but scorning and mocking of one's owe culture and country.