Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Perfect Pathetic Fallacy

Gratillonius must address the people of Confluentes to inform them that:

they are now all full citizens of the Roman Republic (Empire);

he is no longer King of Ys but a curial of Aquilo with responsibility for former Ysans;

he must collect (ruinous) taxes, enforce laws and return runaway slaves to where they belong.

How does the citizenry respond? Maeloch spits. Bomatin glares. Bannon clutches his knife. And how does nature respond? It always does in an Anderson text.

The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XII, section 2, ends with short excerpts from Gratillonius' speech, then with a single concluding sentence expressing perfect pathetic fallacy:

"The wind scattered his words with the dead leaves." (p. 240)

We become very familiar with dead leaves as with the wind. Where does Flandry encounter them?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember this part of THE DOG AND THE WOLF! And a big part of the reason for these burdens threatening the former Ysans was the plotting of Gratillonius' enemies against him. They had STILL not given up trying to bring him down. And then we see Gratillonius' counter maneuvers against them.

If I recall rightly, even his enemies had to concede Gratillonius' energy and abilities. We see the procurator of the province big enough to swallow his pride and pique and persuading the provincial governor to appoint Gratillonius tribune of Aquilo/Confluentes in succession to Apuleius after the latter's death.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I forgot to add to my previous note that Poul Anderson used "dead leaves" vis a vis Dominic Flandry at least twice. Once when he used "leaves" in WE CLAIM THESE STARS as part of the metaphor he made of how Terran aristocrats saw themselves as living in the fading autumn of Technic civilization. The second time was at the end of A STONE IN HEAVEN when Flandry and Miriam Abrams walked thru the autumn woods around Flandry's cottage in the High Sierra.


Paul Shackley said...

Thank you. I am trying to find another such reference but might have imagined it.