Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Veil Of Subitj

The historical Pavle Subitj tells the fictional fantasy character, Vanimen the merman:

"'...I've worked harder than you imagine, to contain the news of you.'" (The Merman's Children, p. 147)

This is like the Veil Of Brennilis in Poul and Karen Anderson's The King Of Ys. By working hard to contain the news of a group of merpeople, Subitj "saves the appearances" of our history which has no record of such beings in Europe - except as legends.

Subitj continues:

"'Outside the Skradin vicinage, there go naught but rumors...Even when you join us, I'll strive that that happen quietly. No public tidings, no dispatches to King or Pope.'" (ibid.)

He does this because:

"'Did your story spread wide, excitement might easily take a dangerous turn.'" (ibid.)

And such excitement would more likely have been recorded. As it is, public, King and Pope will be kept in ignorance - and so are their descendants. In fact, Vanimen initially refuses this invitation for his people to be quietly and peacefully integrated into Western Christendom so what does happen to them? I must continue to reread but I do remember that some of the merpeople will remain free and wild and go West. Yet again, we would like another sequel.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I like this suggestion, that the "Veil of Subitj" had the function of saving the appearances of OUR history, of explaining why we didn't know before now of a tribe of mer-people being assimilated by the Croatians.

And Pavle Subitj had no intention of threatening or coercing Vanimen and his people. He offered them a free choice, to join his people or to leave unhindered.