Sunday, 5 August 2018

Children Of Humankind

Poul Anderson, The Avatar.

When Chinook reaches the Others' frontier, the two Others who come aboard have been called from Earth. For the sake of their avatar, Caitlin, they appear as Irish deities: Aengus mac Og and Brigit. (XLIV, p. 371) They could have taken other forms.

Later, Caitlin tells Joelle:

"'.. .- those two of them we met - children of humankind - in a way more deep than blood, they descend from you.'" (XLVII, p. 388)

I believe that the gods are our "children." We project them although they are a necessary part of us - or, more generally, our imagination, which creates all the gods, is a necessary part of us. But what does Caitlin mean when she calls the two Others in the forms of gods children of humankind and descendants of Joelle?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Here I have to disagree with Caitlin, because her remark does not make logical sense. How can Joelle be somehow "ancestral" to the Others if they were vastly more ancient than mankind?


Nicholas D. Rosen said...

Kaor, Sean!

It’s a long time since I read THE AVATAR, but it could be that some long-ago proto-Others became holothetes, and what they learned and accomplished contributed to making the Others what they are now. Also, am I confusing this with something else from some other Poul Anderson novel, or did Caitlin also say that in time humans would become Others without ceasing to be human? So in that sense, the childless Joelle may be ancestral to the two Others.

Best Regards,