Friday, 21 July 2017

A Sound Like The Wind

The fourth century Goths whom Carl Farness has befriended are threatened by two bands of Vandals. When Carl has offered to help but in his own way, adding that the Goths must follow his advice even when they do not understand it:

"A sound like the wind passed down the shadowy length of the hall."
-"The Sorrow of Odin the Goth," Time Patrol, 300-302, p. 368.

Like the wind? Is this the passage through the hall of Wodan-Mercury-Hermes who is the Wanderer and "'...the god of the wind...'" (1980, p. 390), with whom Carl will later be identified? Wodan conducts "'...the dead down to the Afterworld...'" (p. 391) and, on a battlefield in 337:

"A breeze flitted cold across gore-muddied earth, ruffled the hair of corpses that lay in windrows, whistled as if to call them hence." (337, p. 392)

As I have said before, the wind is almost one of the characters in Poul Anderson's historical fantasies. The Time Patrol is historical sf but these passages could be fantasy.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The word I sometimes use for passages like these from the works of Anderson is "elegiac." A favorite example being Dominic Flandry's anxious reflections about Admiralty Center in WE CLAIM THESE STARS.