Sunday, 18 June 2017

Mountain Wall

SM Stirling, The Sword Of The Lady (New York, 2009), Chapter Four.

"Interval" is derived from "inter-vallum," "between walls," so "Montival" means "Mons vallum," "Mountain wall"? It sounds as if it should mean something important.

When Rudi Mackenzie reflects on the disparate peoples that he must unite, the name comes to him and he thinks that it sounds right:

" an echo of music heard over the hills by moonlight." (p. 114)

- or like the horns of Elfland faintly blowing? See here.

Clearly, the name is inspired. Or is it foreknowledge of a name that will be used because Rudi had foreknown it? Edain says that it puts all the existing names together although I do not see that. It is also a new name, which is important to Changelings. They do not want names that are merely handed down. Uniting the realms, Montival will be ruled by a High King. Indeed, The High King Of Montival is the next volume in the Emberverse series.

I did not expect to make a post out of a single word but was determined to try since I will have to go about other business shortly. Four generations will celebrate Fathers' Day in Williamsom Park, Lancaster (see second image). None of us is a High King but perhaps we are venerable patriarchs?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Have a good time at the family gathering!

And I think I can see at least two of the component states of the nascent "Montival" in the name. The "Mon" part reminded me of the Benedictine Mt. Angel, and the "val" probably came from the city state of Corvallis.


S.M. Stirling said...

Good guesses! What Rudi actually had in mind was a combination of "Mountain" and "Vale" (as in 'valley').

Much of Montival is mountains -- it has several enormous mountain ranges -- but most of the people live in the valleys, where the fertile land is. Rudi himself was born and grew up in valley (the Willamette) flanked by the Coast Range to the west and the High Cascades to the east.

S.M. Stirling said...

And enjoy the family celebration!

S.M. Stirling said...

He's also thinking of the "mountain" as moments of enlightenment or communion with the Powers, where some are exalted and drawn beyond themselves; but this must be followed by a return to the "valley", the common experience of life.

Paul Shackley said...

Mr Stirling,
When Gautama returned to the "valley," people saw that he was changed and asked, "Are you a god?" He replied, "I am awakened (buddha)."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Darn! I should have remembered the mountains in the former states of Oregon and Washington. And how most people would naturally live in the VALLEYS.

Yes, I should have remembered how "mountains" were used or symbolized moments of revelation or enlightenment. Think of Moses on Mt. Sinai or Our Lord's Sermon on the Mountain. Or the mountain where He was Transfigured.