Monday, November 08, 2010

Quotes From Troy

How is it that normal people become heroes? What defines a legend? Sometimes it is just a man, woman or child trapped in extraordinary circumstance, and acting according to his or her own beliefs.

I liked Gemmell's retellings of old legends because they make the heroes human. People who are no different from any other, who just happen to be trapped in rather strange circumstances. The hero, in these cases, do not have farts that smell of roses nor do flowers bloom where they walk.

Sometimes, it is the ordinary that inspire legends.

"Love is a mystery. We embrace it where we can. Mostly we do not choose whom we love. It just happens. A voice speaks to us, in ways the ear cannot hear. We recognize a beauty that the eye does not see. We experience a change in our hearts that no voice can describe. There is no evil in love, Kalliope" 

"'You said storytellers fashion truth from lies? How can that be?' she asked him. 
"'A question I have long pondered,' He pointed at Bias. 'I once told a tale about a winged demon who attacked the Penelope. I said that Bias, the greatest spear thrower in the world, hurled a javelin so powerfully that it tore through the demon's wings and saved the ship from destruction. Bias was so taken with the story that he practised and practised with the javelin, and finally won a great prize at a King's Games. You see? He had become the greatest, because I lied about it. And therefore it was no longer a lie.'
"'I understand,' said Piria. 'And how can the truth be made into a lie?'
"'Ah, lass, that is something none of us can avoid.' Bending down, he scooped up the small clay plate...
"' My point is that truth is a mass of complexities, made up of many parts. What is truth to you?... Truth or lies? Both? It depends upon perception, understanding, belief. So, to return to your original question, it is not hard to make the truth a lie. We do it all the time, and mostly we don't even know it.'"

"She looked up at him. 'Are you in love with me?'...
"He looked into her eyes, and she felt the power of his grey gaze. 'My feelings are my own,' he said at last. 'All I know is that you are sailing for Troy to be with someone you love. If you will allow me I will see you safely there.' 
"'I could never love a man in the way that he would desire. You understand that?' 
"'Have I asked you to love me?' he countered.
"'Then the problem does not arise.'"

"'There is a darkness in you. In all of us, probably. Beasts we keep chained. Orginary men have to keep the chains strong, for if we let the beast loose then society will turn upon us with a fiery vengeance. Kings though... well, who is there to turn upon them? So the chains are made of straw. It is the curse of kings, Helikaon, that they can become monsters.' He sighed. 'And they invariably do.'" 

There is a reason I read fiction. Because often stories describe abstract ideas better that the writings of scholars.

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