Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Words are a Form of Action

Ingrid Bengis wrote one of my all time favorite quotes: "Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change." I just ordered her memoir, "Metro Stop Dostoevsky: Travels in Russian Time". It is set in Russia in the 1990's and should make an interesting contrast with another book for my TBR shelf: "The Madonnas of Leningrad", much of which is set in WWII.

Words have started wars, and stopped them, caused murders and divorce, and created great saints and martyrs. Indeed, words are capable of influencing change.

From page 112 of C. J. Cherryh's "Destroyer", in reference to actions by the protagonist, a translator:

"He'd let his dictionary-making duties slip, thinking they didn't matter so much... But where was the clue to his problems? Lurking, as always, in the dictionary, right where he'd begun."

Insightful gems like this one abound in Cherryh's "Foreigner" series, one of the many reasons I treasure her novels. Currently, I'm reading the seventh of what is now nine books, stringing out the pleasure until the ninth book, "Deliverer", is released on January 4th. C. J. Cherryh wrote the Foreigner series in what is so far three sets of trilogies, each of which ends with a satisfying conclusion - however, fans keep asking for more, and Cherryh has delivered.

Also on my TBR shelf is the omnibus edition of The Morgaine Saga. The first book in that trilogy, Gate of Ivrel, was Cherryh's breakout novel, copyright 1976.


Silvergull said...

I love Cherryh's work. In particular, she does the best aliens I've ever read.

The Morgaine saga is incredibly beautiful. Like all Cherryh's work, the characters are beautifully rounded and sympathetic.

Have you read Cyteen?

Pandababy said...

I just finished reading the Morgaine saga last night. Oh yes it is incredibly beautiful. Her talent is in full bloom. I love the way she gradually reveals the mystery of character's true selves as they make choices and changes.

Pandababy said...

Cyteen isn't in my Cherryh collection - yet - but I hope to add it next year.