Sunday, 6 August 2017

Artistry In Action

Dominic Flandry's opponent, Aycharaych:

"'In action I find an art; and every art is a philosophical tool, whereby we may seek to win an atom deeper into mystery.'"
-Poul Anderson, A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows IN Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (Riverdale, NY, 2012), pp. 339-606 AT p. 463.

James Bond's opponent, Mr Big:

"'Mister Bond, I take pleasure now only in artistry, in the polish and finesse which I can bring to my operations.'"
-Ian Fleming, Live And Let Die (London, 2004), Chapter 8, pp. 069-070.

Both regard their activities as artistic but Aycharaych is philosophical whereas Mr Big is merely bored:

"'Mister Bond, I suffer from boredom. I am a prey to what the early Christians called "accidie", the deadly lethargy that envelops those who are sated, those who have no more desires.'" (p. 069)

This makes Mr Big like some Andersonian aliens who are very unlike Aycharaych. See here. I set out to compare Aycharaych with Mr Big but did not expect to find another comparison between Mr Big and the Denebians in Anderson's "Interloper." Life and literature are one long surprise.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember Sandra Miesel comparing the Ice People of "A Message In Secret" very favorably in comparison to Aycharaych. That ancient race, unlike Aycharaych, was truly practicing empathy and compassion, and achieving a wisdom beyond that of the Chereionite.