Monday, 5 September 2016
Wolves On The Wold
Is a "wold" a wood or a moor? In either case, it is the occasion for yet another pathetic fallacy. Holger and his companions bury the dwarf Hugi who had been mortally wounded by the troll:
"Afterward they heaped rocks above, and stabbed Hugi's dagger into the cairn with the hilt up. Wolves howled, miles away on the wold." (pp. 147-148)
Just as they stabbed the dagger, wolves howled miles away. Coincidence? In Anderson's works, the pathetic fallacy is almost like the grammar. A sentence ends with a full stop - and, when appropriate, is immediately followed by an echo in the natural world. A body is buried. Wolves howl.