Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Blog
‘Beyond the Pact’
The Marchlands of Moruna: the Worm Ouroboros, Chapter 10

Of the Journey of the Demons from Salapanta to Eshgrar Ogo; wherein is set down Concerning the Lady of Ishnain Nemartra and other Notable Manners

As with the world of Tolkien, the forest is employed as a place of ancient evil, which is much the perspective of the English, living in a world that was daunting forest when their ancestors appeared but at the time of their writings had been removed for clearly defined pasture. Even with the flirtation with fairytales, Tolkien’s Mirkwood is monstrous, the wood elves hostile, the queen of the high elves potentially terrible and the Ents awful in their primal way.

One might see a hint at this perspective in Eddison:

“…through the deep woods carpeted with the leaves of a thousand autumns, where a midmost noon twilight dwelt among hushed woodland noises, and solemn eyeballs glared nightly between the tree-trunks…”

For ages, various Aryan peoples had invaded forested Western Europe and ultimately lush Britain, initially horrific to the invader. Not until the spread of Romanized Christianity, imbedded with a doctrine of deforestation, were the forests conquered, but the ancient fear remained, elegantly expressed and rekindled on both sides of the North Atlantic.

The enchanting lady, recalling Circe from the Odyssey, seduces the apex hero, Brandoch Daha, cursed by the union, of course. The heroes and their tiny army then break from the forest and then seak cover in and ancient, unoccupied crag fortress which predicts Helms Deep from Tolkien’s Two Towers.

Diction of Interest

Strath: a broad mountain valley.

Ware: Old English waru ‘commodities,’ of Germanic origin, perhaps the same word as Scots ware ‘cautiousness,’ and having the primary sense ‘object of care’; related to ware

Furlong: an eighth of a mile, 220 yards.

Troublous: full of difficulty or agitation

Cymophanes: A variety of chrysoberyl having a shimmering luster and microscopic, needlelike inclusions that reflect a streak of light.

Nard: the Himalayan spikenard

Ambergris: a waxlike substance that originates as a secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale, found floating in tropical seas and used in perfume manufacture

Ultramontane: 1. advocating supreme papal authority in matters of faith and discipline. Compare with Gallican. 2. situated on the other side of the Alps from the point of view of the speaker

Busked: improvise

Wot: nonstandard spelling of what, chiefly representing informal, dialectical, or humorous use.

Under the God of Things

Add Comment
La ManoNovember 14, 2017 3:07 PM UTC

On the definition of "wot" in this context, I'm betting that it's the first and third person singular present tense of "wit" (to know).

"I wot not his purpose ..."
responds:November 15, 2017 5:28 AM UTC

That was my impression. Edison left many fascinating nuances for the reader.