Saturday, 4 June 2016

Which Gods To Serve?

In Poul and Karen Anderson, The Dog And The Wolf, Chapter XVIII, section 1, p. 356, Nemeta assesses the available pantheons:

"'Epona and the rest are shrunk to sprites, phantoms...' and she has gone far from Their ways;

"'Wotan and his war-band are aliens...'";

Christ would deny her her freedom;

she is the last worshiper of the Ysan Three who give her some powers to live by.

Nemeta has two reasons for remaining in the woods instead of joining Gratillonius and Verania in Confluentes. She will not accept Christ. Dahut could reach her in the town because its river is tidal. She concludes her conversation with Gratillonius thus:

"'Father, 'tis you I sometimes weep for.'" (p. 358)

By now we know that nature will respond like the music in a film. Section 1 concludes:

"Wind moaned in the trees. The first raindrops fell down it." (ibid.)

Nemeta weeps. Wind moans. Rain falls. Pathetic fallacy is woven into the text almost like the grammar.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Considering the part Nemeta played in the death of Niall, I can certainly see why she stayed away from Confluentes or any location Dahut could reach! Dahut would certainly have killed Nemeta or even make her into another siren.

And at least see Nemeta starting to turn back from certain dark, very dangerous paths. At least partly because of the concern she had for her father.


David Birr said...

"By now we know that nature will respond like the music in a film."

That line FINALLY reminded me of a bit in one of Terry Pratchett's books where a character specifically recalls that in his homeland, Uberwald (based on horror-movie Transylvania), nature will respond if you say something darkly portentous. Mention a sinister castle, and a wolf WILL howl mournfully in the distance. It quite throws him off his verbal stride when he speaks of how a magical "dark light ... is seen by zer dark eyes of zer mind," and gets no roll of thunder.

Paul Shackley said...

There is a humorous sf novel, VOYAGE TO PURILIA, about a planet where everything happens as in silent films. A caption announces, "Spring comes early to the Purilian hills" etc.