Monday, January 29, 2007


The Day's Progress - Monday Edition

A decent day's work today, with Artor and his crew sailing the White Aspect around the tip of Dumnonia, to the court of Geraint in Llongborth, the port of warships. I've managed to do slightly more each day so far, each time more than my daily goal but not yet as much as I'd like. On the sixth day of writing, though, I've managed to get the first fifth of the book done.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20,046 / 100,000

Today's writing was mostly onboard Artor's captured longship, brief episodes in which Galaad gets to know the captains a bit better, ending with their arrival in Dumnonia, at the court of Geraint.

Here's a bit of business with Galaad's sword, which has seen better days, and the twins from Gwent, Pryder and Gwrol.
“It is a... well-traveled sheath,” Pryder observed. Then, with considerable effort, he tugged the blade free and held it aloft.

Seen so soon after the flashing brightness of Pryder’s spatha, Galaad’s sword seemed in even poorer repair than ever. The leaf-blade was black with rust and pitted with age, the leather wrapping on the hilt frayed and loose.

“Oh, no, no, no,” Pryder said, shaking his head sadly, his expression like that of someone witnessing an unfortunate accident or an untimely death. “That’s... that’s just...”

“That’s criminal, is what that is,” Gwrol said.

“Yes.” Pryder nodded in rare agreement with his brother. “This isn’t a sword, boy. This is a relic.”

“Perhaps it should better have been buried with your grandsire after all, eh?” Gwrol reached out and, heedless of any danger, ran his finger down the length of the blade’s edge. He held up his fingertip, unscathed. “It’s as blunt as a baby’s ass.”

“That’s ‘smooth as a baby’s ass,’ imbecile,” Pryder said, scornfully.
Of all the Arthurian knights in End of the Century, these two diverge the farthest from the traditional view, at least at first glance. But it all boils down to my opinion that there is a lot of "twin confusion" in the Mabinogion, and in particular in the story of Pryderi/Peredur. In Pwyll Lord of Dyved, Pryderi is originally named Gwri Golden Hair by his foster parents, on accouint of the color of his hair. Only when he is reunited with hsi parents is he given the name Pryderi. In the Mabinogion story of Peredur Son of Evrawg , Peredur meets an old man with two sons, one yellow-haired and one auburn-haired (the old man proves to be his uncle, making these his cousins). Later, in the Circular Valley, he meets a great hoary-haired man, in the company of two young lads, one with yellow hair and one with auburn, with knives with hilts of walrus ivory.

As a sidenote, in the Annales Cambriae, the later (possibly historical) figures Gwrgi and Peredur are brothers. And finally, in many of the romances, Gawain's nicknmae is Gwalltafwyn, which means "hair like rain," and is translated as "Golden Hair."

Percival is a literary descendat of Peredur, who himself was originally known as Pryderi. In End of the Century, I'm taking the tack that the character's original name was Pryder (or "Care"), and that he wasn't once known by a name beginning "Gwr-", but rather had a twin brother with that name, whose hair was blond where his is dark. This blond-haired "Gwr-" was the original of Gawain. I've chosen to call him Gwrol, which means "Courage." Having twins named Care and Courage allows me to do a bit of Odd Couple with them, with a touch of the Smothers Brothers tossed in for good measure.

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