Sunday, 10 July 2016
The End Of The Broken Sword
What else can we glean from Odin's explanation and Imric's feelings?
Two of Anderson's novels, this one and War Of The Gods, are propelled by schemes of Odin;
there could/should have been a novel about Skafloc's son wielding Tyrfing;
Odin offered a way out - if Freda were to return to Skafloc... - but, because of Tyrfing, that backfires;
Skafloc is fey - I have just googled this word and learned that its meanings include "fated to die";
Imric says: "'Happier are all men than the dwellers in Faerie - or the gods, for that matter...Better a life like a falling star, bright across the dark, than a deathlessness which can see naught above or beyond itself." (p. 207)
Here, Imric assumes that this life is all we have. Elsewhere in the text, it is assumed that human beings have immortal souls. These two views of human life can alternate in a single text - and also in many people's minds. Anderson's alien character, Aycharaych, says that death is completion and that an immortal being is to be pitied. However, in some of Anderson's sf works, indefinitely extended lifespans can be meaningful.