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Re: OT: SF: Le Guin, Elgin, Spinrad, etc.

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Saturday, April 10, 2004, 16:31
J Y S Czhang scripsit:

> >Samuel Delany _The Ballad of Beta-2_ > > > >This is a novella which begins with a cryptic poem which the main > >character "decodes" in the course of the story. It's told after the > >fact; the ship, the Beta-2, is a museum piece. > > Hmm, I have heard of that one, but haven't read it.
It has some (con)linguistic relevance. The actual ballad, after which the book is named, exhibits interesting cases of vocabulary drift: There came one to the City Over land with her bright hair wild And her eyes coal black and her feet so sore, Under her arms a green-eyed child. It turns out that _City_ 'ship', _arms_ 'limbs', _under_ 'spatially associated with', the last two reflecting the zero gravity environment. In Delaney's unrelated work _Nova_ we find an outworld Sprachbund that maps various languages (English, Portuguese, maybe others) to SOV order, which is represented in the English of the book as such. -- John Cowan No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. --John Donne