Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

July 4, 2009

Lord Dunsany – Poltarnees, Beholder of Ocean

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Sam @ 12:24 am

Toldees, Mondath, Arizim, these are the Inner Lands, the lands whose sentinels upon their borders do not behold the sea.

Like all of Lord Dunsany’s work, this is a beautiful and strange story. The full text is available online here. It’s about the same unconquerable, barely expressible yearning for the Sea that Legolas experiences in The Lord of the Rings, and which seems to be an interesting characteristic of elves-done-properly generally. (Not that the characters in this story are elves, or even elvish; people are quite strange enough for Dunsany as it is.)

It’s hardly an exclusively fantasy, theme, however – Kipling and Masefield both expressed it perfectly.

For some reason I cannot articulate, this story reminds me of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. It may be mere coincidence.

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