Niña (cerulean_eyes) wrote in damnation_alley,

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'This Immortal'

I've been a fan of Zelazny for about ten years now, but I tend to reread his things instead of trying the ones I haven't tried yet - and there's a fair few, it seems. It's as though I'm leaving them for later. Today was probably one of those 'later' days since I picked up This Immortal in the library and within an hour I was well past the middle and loving it. It surprises me every time just how skillful his use of language is. I wanted to share a quote that really moved me and made me reread the paragraph again.

"It is our country. The Goths, the Huns, the Bulgars, the Serbs, the Franks, the Turks, and lately the Vegans [aliens] have never made it go away from us. People, I have outlived. Athens and I have changed together, somewhat. Mainland Greece, though, is Mainland Greece, and it does not change for me. Try taking it away, whatever you are, and my klephtes will stalk the hills, like the chthtonic avengers of old. You will pass, but the hills of Greece will remain, will be unchanged, with the smell of goat thigh-bones burning, with a mingling of blood and wine, a taste of sweetened almonds, a cold wind by night, and skies as bluebright as the eyes of a god by day. Touch them, if you dare."
(pp.91-92, Victor Gollancz, London, 2000.)

I just thought it was incredibly beautiful. Powerful too. You can feel the passion in it, I think, and I can very much relate to that, both in the sense that this is how I feel about my own birthplace and in the sense that I understand the motivation of the character.
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