Tuesday, 12 July 2016


(The River Shannon.)

I questioned Poul Anderson's use of the phrase "..dreaming heaven..." (see here)

In The Demon Of Scattery:

"...islands dreamed and boats went dancing..." (p. 63)

Boats dance on the waves but do islands dream?

Halldor recounts what he has heard of Greece:

"'Bright sun, tiny islands in a dreaming sea...'" (p. 84)

I would not have used the word "dream" in these contexts but, given that Anderson does use it, what does it connote? Beauty, peace and unreality?

An author can use a character's dreams to comment on the action. The goddess Brigit addresses the nun Brigit in a dream on p. 78 before addressing her in waking consciousness on p. 124. It seems that the nun, cut off from the imported Christian tradition by her experiences, instead accesses the older local tradition when she curses the vikings.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think I understand what Poul Anderson meant by "dreaming" islands and skies. As you said yourself, we are meant to think of "beauty, peace and unreality."