Sunday, 18 June 2017

What Has Been Lost

(See here. Williamson Park Cafe was full so we drove to a nearby village for Wallings ice cream.)

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

"'Hand and hand seven!'" (p. 143) means "'Seventy...'" (ibid.) How much a small group of survivors can forget in a generation. The Southsiders Chief will know each of his seventy stolen horses by look and name within a few days but does not know the word for seventy. He is "Jake sunna Jake," Jake son of Jake, so surnames have gone.

Edain Aylward Mackenzie has to ask the significance of a number at the bottom of a painting. Rudi explains that, before the Change, years were numbered from the birth of the Christian God. Now dates are mostly reckoned in years after the Change.

Knowledge has been lost but closer contact with the Powers is being gained. Father Ignatius meets the Virgin Mary whereas Rudi meets Odin... What is going on?


  1. Paul:
    Think, too, of all the literature and music and movies that have been lost. Books MIGHT survive. Movies and TV episodes can NEVER be played again, nor can any audio recordings. If no one has a copy of the sheet music for a song, or a good enough memory and musical ear to transcribe the notes ... lost forever.

    If it's a song that relied on electric rather than acoustic guitar for its particular effect, that, too, is gone, even if the notes ARE known. There's a line in the *Hitchhiker's* series by Douglas Adams about the way Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits could make a Stratocaster "hoot and sing." After the last people from before the Change are dead, no one in the world will ever again have any idea how that sounds.

  2. Kaor, DAVID and Paul!

    David, exactly! A civilization which falls inevitably means so MUCH will be lost that deserves to survive. So much was lost after the Western Roman Empire fell and even more will be lost when a high tech civilization like ours falls.

    And not even all WORTHY literature is likely survive! We have only scraps and portions of the works of Tacitus and Ammianus Marcellinus, for example. And much of what survived was from Christian monks copying Roman works. I can imagine Benedictine monks doing the same post-Change; albeit, at least mechanical printing presses survived.

    Paul, I remember that incident about the painting and Edain's curiosity about the date on it. I tried remembering WHO was portrayed on that painting (made sometime in the 1500's?) but the description rang no bells. But the subject was pretty plainly one of the kings of that time, and apparently, from the description, an impressive man. Do you have any ideas who it was?


    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Meaning you too did not recognize the man portrayed in that painting? Darn!


    2. Kaor, Paul!

      That mysterious painting is one of those little, niggling things one across in an author's works that can linger in the back of one's mind. To be recalled again when something brings the memory back to the forefront. It can be quite maddening! (Smiles)