Saturday, 31 March 2018

Voices Within And Beyond

When a Seeker threatens to compose a satire against Yewwl, she instantly responds with an already composed satire inwardly dictated to her by her human oath-sister, Miriam/Banner:

"'Wind be the witness of this withering!'" (etc)
-Poul Anderson, A Stone In Heaven IN Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (Riverdale, NY, 2012), pp. 1-188 AT VIII, p. 121.

The Seeker, crushed, capitulates and concedes.

When Janne Floris of the Time Patrol, impersonating a goddess, moves the pagan prophetess, Veleda, from war to peace, she intones:

"'To every thing there is a season...'" (Time Patrol, p. 613) and see here.

When Wanda Tamberly of the Time Patrol intervenes between pre-Columbian tribesmen, she intones:

"'I could a tale unfold...'" (The Shield Of Time, p. 244) and see here.

The Bible and Shakespeare out of their times.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember that incident too! And Miriam Abrams urged Yewwl not to completely humiliate her opponent but to allow him to save some face and dignity. It reminded me of Sun Tzu's advice in THE ART OF WAR about allowing a defeated enemy a means of retreat. Which is wise if you are not going to utterly destroy your enemy.


Sean M. Brooks said...

And, yes, I too thought of the Book of Ecclesiastes!


S.M. Stirling said...

There's an old proverb in the trade: mediocre writers have influences, great writers -steal-.

And when you're going to steal, steal from the best.

Poul used the trope elsewhere, too; as wen van Rijin gives Henry V's Agincourt speech, among others, on Diomedes.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

I remember that as well! That is, Old Nick's plagiarizing of Shakespeare's Henry V giving his speech at Agincourt (in THE MAN WHO COUNTS).


David Birr said...

Although the part Anderson actually quotes is John of Gaunt's speech from Richard II. van Rijn did go into "St. Crispin's Day" later.

That was what convinced me van Rijn fakes (at least in part) his problem with Anglic. He can't scrub the malapropisms out of his conversation, but in a few months learned a completely nonhuman language well enough to translate great speeches from other tongues into it and get something that remained eloquent? I call "BS," Nick.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

You are more familiar with Shakespeare than I am!

And I agree with what you said about Old Nick's alleged difficulties with Anglic. A man as sharp witted as him could easily learn to speak perfect, cultivated Anglic. So the comic malapropisms must have been meant by Old Nick to get his rivals and competitors to underestimate him. And, of course, used by Anderson as a means of showing humor in the van Rijn stories.