Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Nicholas van Rijn, Detective
By the half way point, he has learned how to keep her attention and no longer needs Adzel. He maintains the Jovian/Jovial character he has adopted by flamboyantly rejecting some perfectly acceptable wine. When Thea indignantly rejects his suggestion that the Shenna fear Technic civilization, he realizes that she worships them. He gets her slightly drunk and plays Terrestrial melodies while Adzel slowly adjusts the light to a romantic glow. Van Rijn's purpose is not physical seduction if only because that "...would have triggered her defenses." (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 529)
Beldaniel rightly says that "'...human nature is plastic...'" (ibid.) but then follows this with a non sequitur: "'I don't believe you can call us warped, any more than you yourself are because you were brought up in a particular tradition.'" (ibid.) What is the truth about our species?
Each of us is brought up in a tradition that is not and cannot be of our own choosing;
traditions vary across a wide spectrum (the species is "plastic");
some traditions allow or enable individuals to learn and develop;
however, other traditions warp and distort individuality in many weird and wonderful ways.
"Neither of us is warped because each of us was brought up in a tradition" is nonsense if my tradition was law-abiding and yours was the Mafia.
Look how much Beldaniel discloses in a casual reminiscence:
"'My earliest memory is...Isthayan, one of my master's sons, took me exploring...he wanted someone to carry his weapons, even their toddlers have weapons. ...We went out of the household, into the ruined part of the old, old building...we found some machinery in a high tower room, it hadn't rusted much, the sunlight struck through a hole in the roof like white fire, off metal, and I laughed to see it shine... We could look out, across the desert, like forever -'" (pp. 531-532)
We could make a long list of how much Nicholas van Rijn, Detective, has learned from those few unguarded sentences.