Sunday, 10 July 2016

Great Events

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977), Chapter XXVI.

"Though fall that year had come in with such rage, it soon turned mild and stayed thus uncommonly long." (p. 189)

This also is pathetic fallacy. However, this time the author spells it out:

"It was as if the land were welcoming back her lovers of old." (ibid.)

There follows a beautiful description of the colors of leaves:

"Some lay down with her forever, and the maples remembered them in the colour of their leaves. Other trees rustled in a thousand hues of gold and bronze, wide across hazy hills under dreaming heaven." (ibid.)

Why is heaven "dreaming"? Why is Oxford known as the "city of dreaming spires"? Human beings dream but then project this mental activity onto their environment. Neil Gaiman wrote about the dreams of cities.

Odin speaks:

"...with the voice of wind and sea and the hollow sky..." (p. 195)

He then explains in a single paragraph his devious machinations that have underlain the plot of the novel but another post will be necessary to elucidate this.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

This allusion to Oxford University reminded me of how, during the reign of Henry VIII, it came close to be destroyed. During Henry's plundering of the Church, there were "ravening wolves" who urged on him the destruction of the University (because it was also managed by the Catholic Church) so they could divide among themselves the estates of the University. Fortunately, it escaped the havoc of the Suppression of the monasteries.