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midpoint thoughts (Guns of Avalon)

I'm struggling a bit through--wait, I forgot the title of the book--The Guns of Avalon, by Roger Zelazny. I think I'm struggling because a) Corwin, the protagonist, and b) the weird language switching.

Corwin: I'm not getting a bead on him at all. He's very powerful (walks in Shadow, much more powerful than normal humans, regenerates flesh, used to be a powerful leader of some sort, etc) but he just doesn't seem to be very interesting. He's royalty but he's been distanced so long from his extensive family that all the political drama is being narrated to me (or to him, he's catching up) in little dribbles and at great distance. So far the most interesting person I've met is Dara, who I do quite like and understand, at least, even if I have a bad feeling about this seventeen-year-old girl. What happened to Lorraine doesn't reassure me. But Corwin--he's just kinda there.

Language: OK, what's up with the switching between high-fantasy and vernacular? Here's an excerpt with more formal language:

He was young and fair of hair and complexion. Beyond that, it was hard to say at a glance. It is difficult, I discovered, to obtain a clear initial impression as to a man's features and size when he is hanging upside down several feet above the ground.

(Page 70)

Nothing especially archaic, but not entirely modern, right? Especially that first statement. But then there's dialogue like this:

"Don't worry about it. It's not contagious."
"Crap," she said. "You're lying to me."
"I know. But please forget the whole thing."

(Page 44)

It keeps doing this. Corwin refers to his father as "Dad". His sword is "Grayswandir" (very pretty). And the whole thing's set with parallel universes (that's what "walking in the Shadow" means, you can walk between worlds and pick what you land in), and so there exist an Avalon. There's a Lancelot we meet. And Uther is mentioned by name. But we also have Ganelon, who I always associate (apart from the Kushiel's Legacy one) with the Song of Roland, the medieval epic. All these influences keep jerking me around, merging kind of confusingly.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/131959.html.

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