Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Guests In The Old Phoenix III

"'Rupertus, filius comitis palatini Rheni, et Guillermus, miles et famulus suus.'"
-Poul Anderson, A Midsummer Tempest, Chapter xii, p. 97.

"Rupert, son of the guardian/imperial attendant (?) of the province (?) of the Rhine and William, his soldier and servant."

Even easy Latin is difficult.

For more information about Holger Carlsen, we turn to Poul Anderson's Three Hearts And Three Lions (Sphere, London, 1977). Chapter One is preceded by a five page "Note" (pp. 7-11) which, however, is not an author's or publisher's note but part of the text. The novel ends with another, two page, "Note" (pp. 154-156). The Notes are a framing device. Thus, they have first person narration:

"Holger and I first met more than twenty years ago." (p. 7)

"I had a letter from Holger Carlsen right after the war, to say he'd come through alive." (p. 154)

- whereas Chapters One to Twenty-Four are third person narration about Holger:

"He woke slowly." (p. 13)

Holger is a man in a timeline where there is a World War II. He is described by an acquaintance before being transported, through "...flame and darkness..." (p. 11), to a fabulous realm where he is destined to be a hero, "...the Defender." (p. 154)

A standard formula for a fantasy novel, the only question being how well Anderson writes to this formula.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I remember how INTERESTING I found the prefatory note to THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS. Because of how it featured a British scientist talking about alternate universes. I THINK that book was the first one I read using the alternate worlds hypothesis.