Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Readers' Perspective

Readers of fiction have a privileged position. We can read the characters' inner thoughts and summarized biographies. We know the superhero's secret identity. When our hero's enemies meet to plot his downfall, we are there.

Tachwyr the Dark, Hand of the Vach Dathyr and successor of Brechdan Ironrede as Protector of the Roidhun's Grand Council, addresses Council members on multiple screens:

"'The hour is upon us.'"
-Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (New York, 2012), p. 264.

They include:

Odhar the Curt;
Alwis Longtail;
Gwyanafon of Brightwater  -

- harmless sounding names!

Ian Fleming convened a meeting of all the Russian Intelligence chiefs to authorize the execution of the man Bond. When that had failed, Fleming gave us several more villain's meetings:

Goldfinger's Hoods' Congress;
a meeting of SPECTRE, chaired by Blofeld;
a meeting of SPECTRE, chaired by Largo;
the Man With The Golden Gun's Group.

Bond, a spy, managed to eavesdrop on two of these! Nevertheless, readers are usually able to see and hear much that is unknown to the hero - unless he is the first person narrator of the entire text.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

You made an error in the second paragraph when calling the Merseian prime minister "Guardian" of the Roidhun's Grand Council. The actual title used was "Protector," which I admit is close in meaning to "Guardian."

England used to have a "Lord PROTECTOR," an office formerly used by regents governing in the name of boy kings during their minorities. But Cromwell's adoption of that title during his dictatorship seems to have discredited it. "Regent" was the title thereafter used for persons temporarily holding the royal powers.


Paul Shackley said...

Thank you. Will change.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Glad you didn't mind my nit picking! Hmmm, we see Tachwyr the Dark sometimes conferring with his Grand Councils--but we never see Georgios, Josip III, Hans, or Gerhart presiding over meetings of the Policy Board. Something I would have liked to have seen at least once. We do see Lord Hauksberg meeting several members of the Board in ENSIGN FLANDRY.