Saturday, 13 August 2016
Voice Of The Fire
The Talking Beasts of Narnia look good on screen but they speak with the voices of human actors. Thus, an unmistakably English accent emerges from inside an oversized owl. Willing suspension of disbelief takes a nosedive. The Narnian Owl should sound as if its words really were articulated by the throat and beak of an owl.
Poul Anderson recognizes this. When a fire elemental speaks:
"I can't describe the voice...: crackling, bellowing, sibilant, Fire given a brain and a throat." (p. 72)
He describes it quite well. Like a Narnian, the elemental addresses a woman as:
"'Daughter of Eve...'" (ibid.)
Imagine that in fire speech.
"Teeth of incandescence gleamed in a mouth that was jumping fire." (p. 73)
Because the topic is the voice of a fire elemental, I have taken this opportunity to plug Alan Moore's novel, Voice Of The Fire.
Poul Anderson is comparable to Lewis and Moore. However, Lewis, Christian propagandist, and Moore, anarchic magician, are poles apart: antithetical literary voices of England.