Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Kipling And Homer

I said that Poul Anderson mentions Rudyard Kipling at least twice in the Time Patrol series and quoted from Time Patrol but, of course, Part Two of The Shield Of Time, "Women and Horses and Power and War," takes its title from some lines of poetry quoted on p. 39. I respectfully disagree with the sentiment expressed in these lines although perhaps the tone is ironic - or the poetic speaker may not be the poet?

Part Two of The Shield Of Time also refers back to the beginning of European literature:

"'If I were your king, I'd make myself secure here, then sally forth for a pitched battle, with the city to return to in case I lost it.'

"Creon nodded.

"'The Trojan War over again?' Hipponicus protested. 'May the gods grant a different outcome for us.'" (p. 37)

That is easy to arrange. Fear Greeks bringing gifts!

Another dinner guest comments:

"'Fear not...Our king has better sense than Priam.'" (ibid.)

These speakers, with the exception of Meander/Everard who suggests the sally, would have accepted Homer's account as literally true. We can regard subsequent literature as sequels to Homer and subsequent philosophy as footnotes to Plato.

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