Saturday, 4 June 2016

Gratillonius, King And More

Gratillonius is an exemplary survivor. No longer enjoying life, he nevertheless goes into partnership with his father-in-law, manages the latter's land, helps to fence a meadow and breeds horse to sell to the Roman cavalry. He also understands that:

"...the world was moving into a different age."
-Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XVIII, section 2, p. 359.

Bishop Corentinus is building a cathedral that will continue to be enlarged and beautified by future generations. That never happened before. Gratillonius knows that Christ lives as he knows that the Emperor does although he has met neither. The Christian faith that claims an inner intimacy with Christ is still beyond him. But what a guy. Anderson's most impressive hero?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree, in THE KING OF YS the Andersons developed a VERY carefully thought out character in Gratillonius. That was partly because, of course, due to the LENGTH of the book, four volumes, giving them the space needed for working out many aspects of his personality.

And I think we see a similar deepening and developing of the characters of Dominic Flandry and Anson Guthrie, because they were given more "room" needed for exploring their personalities. Altho that is probably more true of Guthrie in the four HARVEST OF STARS books.

And some cathedrals, even today, are still being worked on, due to the builders being able to count on future generations continuing their work. The Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London still has some interior unfinished work. And Barcelona's unfinished Basilica of the Holy Family is another.

And it would have been interesting if Gratillonius HAD met Emperor Honorius. My view, because of Arther Ferrill's book on the fall of the Empire, is that Honorius has been gravely underrated, even maligned by most historians. Ferrill convinced me that from about 408 onward Honorius showed unsuspected resources of courage, determination, and cunning as he finally took power back from Stilicho and began to actively govern.

And I think Gratillonius was STARTING to have a true and real faith in Christ.