Monday, 13 June 2016

Words And Descriptions

"...there where only the whins and ling of the waste."
-Poul Anderson, War Of The Gods (Tor, New York, 1999), p. 182.

"...she and her one tirewoman..." (p. 183)

"Out from a fjord glided three longships." (ibid.)

Yes, I know what a fjord is but what is it exactly?

"...the sail slatted each time she came about." (p. 184)

"Gauging wind and seas, shouting orders, working the tiller with the strength of a wisent and the cunning of a wolf, [Hadding] became the soul of the ship." (p. 184)

When we drive a car, we become the car. Hadding, the incarnate sea god, is the perfect steersman. His wife, Ragnhild, won from a giant, sees that he has more joy in steering than in sex. People know that he is eerie. How long before his real nature is revealed? It is "revealed" when his life becomes "...a myth..." (p. 301), then a novel by Poul Anderson.


David Birr said...

With regard to "tirewoman," a scene in one of Andre Norton's books shows a girl being helped into a fancy gown. The woman helping her is described as "her tiring maid." The first several times I read that, I misunderstood and thought it meant the woman was fatigued (which she had reason to be, having just cast a complex disguise spell). The narrative mentioned she wasn't fastening the gown completely; this supported the wrong assumption because I figured she was too WEARY to tighten all the laces.

It was only after a number of years that I realized the real meaning. And she left the laces loose because having the gown partly undone made it look sexier and distracted the bad guys.

Paul Shackley said...

Thank you. You often quote other relevant texts.