Friday, 24 April 2015

"Tarry Till I Come Again"

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation:

Poul Anderson, The Boat Of A Million Years (London, 1991).

Jacques Lacy (really Hanno) tells Cardinal Richelieu about one Seumas Lacy. Because he speaks in the third person about someone with a different first name, I took him to be referring to someone else, maybe an ancestor. However, Jacques then states that Seumas:

"'...took the French form of his Christian name...'" (p. 226)

Of course. "Jacques" and "Seamus" are both "James."

When Hanno/Jacques discloses that he has lived for millennia, Richelieu asks:

"'...Are you the Wandering Jew?'" (p. 227)

He is not.

I know of three other fictional references to the Wandering Jew, one in sf, two in comics.

In Walter M Miller's A Canticle For Leibowitz, the Wandering Jew is Lazarus because "What the Lord raise up, it stay up."

In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Morpheus and an immortal Englishmen, meeting once every century, are mistaken for the Devil and the Wandering Jew.

DC Comics Secret Origins No 10 presented four speculative origins of their fantasy character, the Phantom Stranger (a sort of supernatural Lone Ranger). He was variously the Wandering Jew, a man from a remote past, a man from the end of time or a neutral angel. For a detailed, well illustrated review, see here.

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