Saturday, 25 June 2016

"We'd Ridden Out Of Time"

Poul Anderson, Hrolf Kraki's Saga (New York, 1973), Part VI, section II, pp. 189-194.

Is Hrolf Kraki's Saga Anderson's richest text?

Hrolf and his men are overnight guests of Hrani, whom we recognize as Odin. When they are snow-bound for a day:

"The men sat and listened to Hrani spin such wonderful tales that the day seemed very short - 'as if somehow we'd ridden out of time,' Svipdag mumbled to his brothers." (p. 193)

This passage is multiply evocative. Poul Anderson is Hrani spinning wonderful tales. The idea of riding out of time evokes both the Time Patrol and the Old Phoenix.

Time Patrol Specialist Carl Farness resembles and is identified with Wodan and rides through time:

"I didn't change clothes till my vehicle had brought me across space-time...
"...I left [my spear] strapped to the side of the machine. I wouldn't be going anyplace on that except back to the milieu where such weapons belonged." (Time Patrol, p. 341)

Wodan rides through time with his spear strapped to his timecycle! Telling stories outside of time is what happens in Anderson's Old Phoenix Inn and in Neil Gaiman's Inn of the Worlds' End.

Addendum: "Tales Carl also had of men, women, and their deeds - " (Time Patrol, p. 364)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Alas, I would never have thought of making the connection of Odin/Hrani with the Time Patrol's Carl Farness/Wodan! (Smiles)