Friday, 22 July 2016

The Novel Winds Down

"About midday on the feast of Adam, Brynhild lay alongside a Copenhagen dock."
-Poul Anderson, The Merman's Children, Book Four, Chapter IX, p. 244.

"Ahead of them, high-booted against muck, went a pair of armed linkbearers." (p. 245)

"Ingeborg Hjalmarsdatter was a Jutish woman of about thirty winters. Early one spring she arrived at Hornbaek, a fisher hamlet on the north coast of Zealand..." (Chapter X, p. 246)

"She did not seek out her neighbors, nor invite them oftener than it behooved her..." (ibid.)

"Nearing midsummer, the sun was yet above the Kattegat, over which it threw a bridge of molten gold." (p. 247)

Sun- or moon-light as a bridge across water is a frequent image in Anderson's prose.

"Eastward across the channel its low-flying rays glowed on clouds piled like mountains above Scania, which rested blue on the edge of sight." (ibid.)

Anderson goes on to describe:

wings in a clear sky;
sails of becalmed, toy-like vessels catching the light;
sounds of surf and gulls;
cool air;
tang of sea and kelp;
odors from plowed and common land;
darkling woods.

A day approaches its end as do the novel and its characters' lives.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

What interested me was realizing there used to be a feast of Adam and Eve in the Catholic Church, on the day before Christmas. But it faded away after the sixteenth century, which is why I was not familiar with it.