Monday, 27 March 2017

Preserving Civilization

After the Catastrophe, whichever catastrophe we imagine, we want not only to survive physically but also to remain civilized and indeed human.

In SM Stirling's Emberverse, a knight of the Protectorate regards a Benedictine and a Ranger as:

"'False priest and devil-worshipping whore...'"
-SM Stirling, A Meeting At Corvallis (New York, 2007), Chapter Four, p. 98.

The Protectorate has maintained social order but retrogressed culturally. By contrast, the Ranger invites the Benedictine to stay overnight and share:

roast boar;
scalloped potatoes;
cauliflower with cheese;
dried-blueberry tarts and whipped cream;
(For previous meals, see here.)

The Benedictine will also be able to administer confession and communion to some of the Rangers who are not "'...of the Old Religion.'" (p. 100)

He responds:

"'Most generous of you, my child.'" (ibid.)

This is civilization: difference without division; unity without uniformity.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And it's only fair to say not all knights/men at arms of the Protectorate were as bigoted as this knight was. Esp. those influenced by ex-members of the Society for Creative Anachronism and the second generation.