Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Clever Uses Of Language

SM Stirling, Drakon (New York, 2000).

Our NYPD detective, Henry Carmaggio, refers to his futurian ally's workroom as "'...the Fortress of Solitude...'" (p. 319) and addresses him ironically as "'...Batman...'" (p. 321) These similarities to comic book characters and settings are clearly present. Thus, it is appropriate that they are acknowledged.

When Henry meets the Draka super-villainness, Gwen, her eyes are:

"...full of an ancient, innocent evil." (p. 348)

Ancient, yes. Both she and the Domination are several centuries old. But innocent evil? Literally, a contradiction. However, appropriate. Like a child torturing an animal, Gwen enjoys killing human beings and thinks that she is right to do so. Thus, about as unrepentantly evil as we can possibly imagine.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Gwen and the Domination were both ancient in their evil doing? They certainly were! But I could not and would not call Gwen "innocent" in any real sense since she was seven years old. But I do understand the LITERARY DRAMA in terms like "...full of an ancient, innocent evil."

And can you truly call a child torturing a dog or cat truly innocent in any real sense? I think that is one of the strongest indicators that such a person will grow up to be a psychopath.


David Birr said...

Michael Moorcock had a reference in one of his "Elric of Melnibone" stories, something about how sadism was so innate to the Melniboneans that they couldn't truly be called evil for it. They were compared to cats tormenting mice before killing them. That might be something like what was meant by "innocent evil."

A child so young that he or she doesn't recognize the consequences could inflict an awful lot of agony ... and be horrified afterward, perhaps only years afterward, when faced with the meaning of what he or she did. An adult of the Draka will NEVER "grow up" in that sense. They can only be put down like the rabid animals they are.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

I've tried to read Michael Moorcock's "Elric" stories. Alas, they never really appealed to me. And I think I see your point about how an entire people could be so corrupted by a bad culture that most would have no understanding of the pain inflicted by sadism.

I certainly hope any children guilty of tormenting small animals or even other children will eventually be appalled by what they had done! But, there are certain persons truly empty of empathy, conscience, etc., that inflicting pain on others gives them depraved pleasure all their lives. These are true psychopaths.

Yes, as we see them in DRAKON, the only thing you can and should do with New Race Draka is to put them down like the rabid beasts they are. I would hope some New Race children before age seven might be saved.