Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Flandry's Testament

"'We play the game move by move, and never see far ahead - the game of empire, of life, whatever you want to call it - and what the score will be when all the pieces at last go back into the box, who knows?'"
-Dominic Flandry on the last page of The Game Of Empire.

That life is a divine game is an idea in Indian philosophy. Who knows but also who cares? We will be dead. I do not buy the Indian ideas of souls and reincarnation.

When the final whistle blows, the play stops and the score is fixed. This is a good analogy for life, the difference being that we know the score after a football match but not after life. All the more reason to enjoy it while we are here. I enjoy blogging and want to leave a big blog.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

A very philosophic and interesting comment by Dominic Flandry, one worthy of being pondered over. I would add that the game Flandry had in mind was chess, not football. But we can know the scores of chess games and tournaments. I have heard of stories where a man plays chess with either Death or Satan, with the stakes being his life or soul.


Paul Shackley said...

I switched to football in mid-analogy. The final whistle blows at an appointed time.

David Birr said...

Paul and Sean:
Terry Pratchett parodied the "chess with Death" notion in several of his stories, in a variety of ways. In one of them, Death had to be reminded — evidently not for the first time — how the knight moves. In another, he reminisces about once being challenged to a game called "Exclusive Possession" (which seems to be what we'd know as *Monopoly*) and adds, "I was the boot." And then there was the time a witch challenged him to a poker game, not for her own life, but for the life of an infant. Death got the winning hand — and pretended to believe it was a LOSING hand. Pratchett's portrayal of Death is KIND.

There was a TV show, *Benson*, on which one episode got Benson into a game of *Trivial Pursuit* with "Mr. G. Reaper" (every time his name was mentioned, a dog howled in the distance) for the lives of a school bus full of children caught in a sudden storm. All the questions Mr. Reaper (Owooooo) were asked had answers relating to death; Jerry Garcia's band, for instance. But he didn't know about a certain series of Charles Bronson movies (*Death Wish*).

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Pratchett portraying Death as KIND was unusual! Don't think I ever heard of or seen "Benson" on TV.