Sunday, 12 June 2016

Elves And Hadding

I was so busy posting about elves, that I forgot why I did it. However, when I turned back to Poul Anderson's War Of The Gods, I remembered that elves had made a sudden dramatic intervention in that text. When Hadding inadvertently offends the elves, they are able to turn the elements against him even though he is the incarnation of a powerful Van, Njord, and favored by the most powerful As, Odin. Vanir and Aesir are the two divine races and the elves' campaign against Hadding makes them seem like a third which, according to Anderson, they were.

Subsidiary question: is Aslan an As? Or, at least, did CS Lewis, a lover of Norse myths, have the Aesir in mind when he imagined his leonine Christ? Probably although I gather from the Wiki article that "aslan" is Turkish for "lion." However, a single word can have multiple connotations.

On the current rereading, I am not finding War Of The Gods as gripping as I usually do with a work by Anderson. However, perseverance pays. Look how much comes out of any Anderson text if you continue looking into it. It is like examining an organism through a microscope. My advice to any Poul Anderson fan is: do what I am doing; start your own blog. The texts are infinitely more memorable and enjoyable if studied this closely.

At present on this blog, we are in the Past of Poul Anderson's imagination. His futures seem very remote. However, we can at any time revisit Ythrians etc simply by reopening a different volume. Glory to the Emperor! (Preferably Norton.)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I've thought Anderson's WAR OF THE GODS not to be as gripping as others of his works, that it was too obviously derivative of the Scandinavian legends he loved. Also, that others of his Scandinavian books, such as HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA, were far better. However, WAR OF THE GODS was definitely very readable, very competently written, and I hope to reread it this year.

Barring being corrected by more knowledgeable persons, I don't think C.S. Lewis had the Eddaic legends in mind when he created Aslan. At least not overtly or consciously!

Set up my blog devoted to Poul Anderson? A worthy goal, but one I don't think is necessary at the present time. You have honored me not only by tolerating my frequent disagreements with your views but also by publishing articles of my own here!

Glory to the Emperor (either Norton or Manuel Argos)!