Thursday, 16 June 2016
Narrative Points Of View
Poul Anderson's War Of The Gods (New York, 1999) begins and ends with "The Gods themselves..." (p. 9). For the purposes of this narrative, these gods are real. The intervening story recounts what happens among men because of a conflict between the gods.
Anderson's Hrolf Kraki's Saga (New York, 1973) begins but does not end with the telling of the tale in a Christian court centuries later. For the narrator and most of her audience, these gods are a heathen error to paraphrase a patronizing phrase used by the bishop who must be consulted as to whether it is fitting to tell the tale. Thus also, Snorri had to make clear that all of his story occurred inside inverted commas.
Anderson's "Star of the Sea" begins with a goddess and ends with a prayer to the Mother Of God. Here we understand that these beings are believed to exist. The intervening story recounts what happens among men to change their beliefs while retaining certain images.
Of the goddess:
"...she rose early...to watch over her sea. Upon her brow shone the morning star."
-Time Patrol (New York, 2006), p. 467.
"Pure as yourself, your evenstar shines above the sunset...
"Ave Stella Maris!" (p. 640)