Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Thunder, Lightning And Rain
The chapter opens with rain and ends with thunder and lightning. Between:
"Outside, the rain had gone heavy, filling the windows with murk. We heard it hammer on walls and roofs. Wind piped. Inside, lights dimmed to embers and dusk laid hold of us." (p. 190)
The Matucheks and Frogmorton deal with dark matters that are reflected in murk, dimness and dusk. The wind is a frequent participant in Anderson's texts. Here it pipes. I am trying to locate a passage earlier in the novel where it had "fingers."
When the three have worked hard to cast a spell:
"We sat for a while in companionable silence. The weather wildened." (p. 192)
Here the wild weather contradicts the companionable silence but reminds us of storms ahead for the characters.
"The wind skirled.
"'Go on please,' Ginny begged.
"He looked past us into the darknesses that, despite the lamps, laired in the corners under the ceiling." (p. 193)
Frogmorton offers help but has just said that he can make no promises. Consequently, he peers into a darkness that is not merely physical. He does not know what will happen. The lamps symbolize his scholarly and arcane knowledge, always surrounded by the unknown. At the end of the chapter, thunder and lightning appropriately accompany his description of a magic, dwarf-forged, Viking sword.