Thursday, 1 September 2016

Fiction And Reality

If what is real in one universe is myth or fiction in another universe, then life could get complicated. Who lives where?  Arnold Shwarzenneger tackled the idea in Last Action Hero.

In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts And Three Lions, Alfric, Duke of Alfarland in the Kingdom of Faerie, speculates that another Earth exists that is:

"'...the source of myths and legends, such as those told of Frederik Barbarossa or the great epical chansons about the Emperor Napoleon and its heroes.'" (Chapter Seven, p. 47)

Is Alfric's king Oberon? Alfric's Earth does contain:

"'Avalon...far, far in the western ocean...'" (Chapter Eight, p. 51) and:

"...Morgan le Fay...sister to Arthur, the last great king o' the Britons...'" (ibid.)

It may be that Morgan healed Arthur and keeps him till his time of return. King Arthur does not appear in any of Anderson's works but hovers on the borders of at least four:

The King Of Ys (with Karen Anderson)
The Boat Of A Million Years
A Midsummer Tempest
Three Hearts And Three Lions


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

By and large, I prefer the Carolingian legends (as for example, in the SONG OF ROLAND) to the Arthurian mythos. Because, at the very least, Charlemagne was REAL, actually historical. And the short lived revival of the Roman Empire he founded left a deep mark in the memories and hopes of Europe.


David Birr said...

Whether Alfric's king is Oberon depends on the degree to which PA accepted the Carolingian legends as true for his story. Holger recalls Huon of Bordeaux as having "become a king or duke or something in Faerie...." Andre Norton's retelling of that legend, *Huon of the Horn*, ends with Oberon appointing Huon to be his successor when Oberon abdicates and goes off ... apparently to Avalon. Whoever rules Faerie when Holger arrives, it thus shouldn't be Oberon -- unless he's come back like a Faerie Arthur.

By the way, I read *Huon of the Horn* not long BEFORE reading *Three Hearts and Three Lions* (40 years ago and more), so when Holger remembered Huon, I knew in some detail the legend to which he referred.

Sean, however historical the name "Arthur" may or may not have been, SOMEBODY stopped the Saxon invasion of Britain for a while, maybe as much as 50 years.
"Clearly, the man or men upon whose exploits the epic figure of Arthur was built made sufficient impact in their own day for their memories long to outlive them.... It is a historical fact that in Britannia, alone among the western provinces of the Roman Empire, a native population halted the wave of Germanic invasion for a significant time." - *Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars*, David Nicolle, PhD.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

I'm delighted to see your interesting comments!

I'm esp. interested to learn you read more of the Carolingian legends than I have--such as the story of Huon of Bordeaux.

And I certainly agree there was at least one, or several Romano-Briton war leaders or chiefs who fought the invading Anglo/Saxons to a temporary standstill from the mid to late fifth century AD. I agree that was the origin of the Arthurian legends.