Paarfi: useless, quote, sPEcuLation

Fri Apr 11 14:22:30 PDT 2003

Paarfi uses "useless" on occasion slightly unidiomatically (for English):
Pel tells Jenicor it would have been useless to have been seen, Zerika
tells Tazendra it would be useless to order a charge.  However, in French
one could use "inutile" in such circumstances, as Dumas does.  I wonder if
SKZB got this from the original or if the old translations were too

In this week's New Yorker there is a discussion of the Amber Room,
which was originally built by Frederick I of Prussia.  His second wife
liked to debate Leibniz (coinventor of calculus).  The article quotes her
as saying (rather more wordily) 'That idiot Leibniz wants to teach me
about infinitesimals.  Does he think I haven't met my husband?'  I could
hear the Consort saying this...

Infinitesimal reference to _Paths of the Dead_ follows:

Paarfi describes Pel in _tPG_ and _FHYA_ as small, beautiful, given to
changing the color of his eyes a la Aliera, and clapping in a feminine
manner.  Crazy speculation: Pel is female, and is in drag for plot
reasons.  Presumably those reasons evaporated with the Orb, but perhaps it
was simplest to continue crossing.  Aerich in _tPotD_ points out that he
hasn't had any children and they hug. Well, later they do.  The hug makes
the "female" theory a bit less likely, though maybe Dragaerans, being so
thin and not having beards, have less prominent secondary sexual
characteristics than Easterners.  Speculation duo: Pel is gay, and
Paarfi's translator has made the wrong assumption about the gender of his
conquests.  Or the translator was right _and_ both speculations are right.