Sunday, 18 September 2011

M D Lachlan, Wolfsangel (2010), Fenrir (2011)

Hwæt! Ic novela cyst secgan wylle,
hwæt mē árǽdatte tō midre nihte,
syðþan cildren reste wunedon.
Þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwe syllicre wulf
on bóc áwritan, lēohte langtwidig,
bóc-fantasia beorhtost. Eall þæt átellanung wæs
begoten blódgéotende; wulfas stōdon
fægere æt foldan scēatum, swylce þær þríe wæron:
Vali and Felig, lífgetwinnan, Adisla gefǽmne
Behēoldon þær þríe wulfsengel dryhtnes ealle:
werwulfen ofer moldan, ond eall þēos mære gesceaft.

Þys boke ys issue and generacioun of þe moost-praysed saga of wulfmen & Norsmen ycleppit Wulfesangelus, verilye þe howlinge soule of Fantasia binden bitween two boords. Ne better boke ypublisht was, nor ys, þeis yere or þe last of þe fascion or matter of Fantasy; and newist þe facte of fulle disenclosure (for þe auctor ys freend to mee and myne) shd gif ye stynt nor pause but to buyen þes boke wiþ al haste.

Þe scene yt is, Anno Domini 886, at Paris, sich citie be onder seggen of þe Norsmen, þem by King Sigfred wealden; and þat mightig citie forestonds þe asaut. Yet þe Norsmen nicht for grenehede, nor spoyle, but misse lefer an wyf of high estat, ycleped þe Ladie Aelis. An heileg Prest, yclept Jehan, ablenden ond crippled, most her avise to tradice herseln and pass to þe Norsmen entir. Yete he wol nat, for dreden the paynim will her sacrifise & lot, liken Isak by Abram; and she is loth. Prest mid mayden, hem tua voyden þe citie. For þe troth of þe matiere is stranger, far, and ferlie. For þe fals goddes Odin and Loki and the wulf yclept Fenrir foughten the nones, a greet battel of wyttes and will, gildir and ytrapping arond the lifes of þreo mortall men. Þiy died, Odin þwerted was, and Loki did wynn; bot þe whele tornes anew, and peples souls reborne sich þat þe game beginneþ againe.

Grete ys þe Wold, grete þe firm auctoritas et potentia of Lachlanes Lettrure; selden is boke as doughtie and mightie. Brod in reach and scop; bricht in imaginatio; yea þe dramatis personae, sich Aelis, Jehan, Leshii and Ofaeti, all be an weolthe of qhat þe rhetoritians do calle characterisatio. Pythagoaras þe Grece spake of Re-incarnatio, and Lachlanes boke also. þis is þe world in dare, and þe darken of Lachlanes soule is stark and stronge. As þe poete sayde, and richtig: Þe more strenghþe of ioye myn herte strayneз. An grete boke: ye most beye yt.


Megazver said...

I hate you.

JP said...

I laughed so much I threw up.

PeteY said...

You're trying to throw us off. You really don't want readers of this blog. Right?

Dammit, I'm staying.

PeteY said...

And I'm still reading your horrible book about hair, even though it sounds just like Will Self. WHO I ALSO LIKE.

Anne Perry said...

I knew that year spent studying Anglo-Saxon would come in handy some day. Ellenweorc.

Johan A said...

Good grief, you are a man of surprises. I thought you were from the Lit side of things, not Lang. Do I have to keep Joseph Wright by my side in the future to read your blog?

Serdar Yegulalp said...

If he posts one in Lolcat, I'm leaving.

mdlachlan said...

Fulle hehe do I salute thy hardiment Gadeling.
A horde-hows of fyne lettre.

mdlachlan said...

I have to confess I'm completely in the dark as to what the Old English at the start says. I've got a phone call in to Seamus Heaney, but in case he doesn't get back, would you mind translating it?

Adam Roberts said...

The Old English:

Lo! I will tell of the best of books,
that I read in the middle of the night,
after the children were in bed.
It seemed to me that I saw a very wondrous wolf
written into a book, the brightest of works,
[and] all the telling was begotten of blood
and the wolf stood at the very heart and the centre [of it].
There were three also
Vali and Felig, life-twins, amd the lady Adisla
All those fair three gazed
[on] the god's Wolfsangel
men over the earth,
and all gazed upon this renowned creation.

Adam Roberts said...

The Early Middle English doesn't really need translation, I think: though a transliteration into contemporary orthography may help:

This book is the issue and generation ['sequel'] of the most-praised saga of werewolves & Vikings called Wolfsangel, verily the howling soul of Fantasy bound between two boards. No better book published was, nor is, this year or the last of the fashion or matter of Fantasy; and newist ['notwithstanding'] the fact of full disenclosure (for the author is friend to me and mine) should give ye stint nor pause but to buyen this book with all haste.

The scene it is, Anno Domini 886, at Paris, sich city be under seige of the Norsemen, them by King Sigfred ruled; and that mighty city forestands the asault. Yet the Norsemen not for grenehede, nor spoil, but want lefer a woman of high estate, yclept the Ladie Aelis. A holy Preist, yclept Jehan, ablenden ['blind'] and crippled, must her a[d]vise to tradice herseln and pass to þe Norsmen entire [ie hand herself over to the Vikings]. Yet he will not, for dreading the paynim ['pagans'] will her sacrifice & lot, like Isak by Abram; and she is loth. Preist with maiden, them two voyden ['leave'] the city. For the truth of the matiere is stranger, far, and ferlie. For the fals[e] gods Odin and Loki and the wolf yclept Fenrir foughten the nones ['fought, once upon a time'], a great battle of wits and will, gildir and ytrapping arond [catching and trapping] the lives of three mortall men. They died, Odin thwarted was, and Loki did wynn; but the wheel turnes anew, and pe[o]ples souls reborne such that the game beginneth againe.

Gre[a]te is the Wold ['power, meaning, force,'], gre[a]te the firm auctoritas et potentia ['authority and power' (Latin)] of Lachlanes Lettrure; seldom is book as doughty and mighty. Bro[a]d in reach and scop[e]; bright in imaginatio[n]; yea the dramatis personae, sich [ie 'including'] Aelis, Jehan, Leshii and Ofaeti, all be an wealthe of what the rhetoritians do calle characterisatio ['characterisation']. Pythagoaras the Greek spake of Re-incarnatio[n], and Lachlanes book also. This is þe world in dare [ie 'in the dark'], and the darken ['darkness'] of Lachlanes soule is stark and stronge. As the poet said, and rightly: "Þe more strenghþe of ioye myn herte strayneз". An gre[a]te book: ye must buy it.

Michelle said...

I should have done mine in Middle English too. Now I just look lame! Dammit Roberts you win again!

Guido Eekhaut said...

I found out I can actually read/understand most of it, maybe because of being fluent in both Dutch and English (modern versions. Good show, sir!

JP said...

I don't read much fantasy anymore, but I've ordered this on the strength of this vomit-inducingly hilarious blog post.

Sam said...

This review was the single most beautiful thing I've ever read in my life. I swoon.