Continuing my first revision pass through the manuscript of TE, trying to cut some things and make others make more sense. What are you all doing this Sunday afternoon?
As always midway through a revision pass, many things I once liked are making me frown (this will change again as I get toward the end), but this bit is still making me smile:
I missed the weight of his arm on my shoulders, but I didn’t say so. I gripped the flashlight tightly as the tunnels whispered on. “Take me abroad with you, for it is not Iceland that I love, love, love.”
“Of course he didn’t take her with him.” Ari scowled. I couldn’t tell whether he was angry at me or at himself. “He went abroad, and flirted with the pretty Norwegian girls, and so she married his best friend while he was away. And then both men died. A tragedy, just like in Shakespeare.”
… More water dripped in the distance. “What happened to the woman? Did she die, too?”
Ari shook his head … “Nah, she remarried and lived to a ripe old age.”
What kind of a romance was that? A bit of mist drifted past the beam of my light. “Didn’t take her long to get over him, did it?”
“What makes you think she got over him? It’s not that simple.”
But it was simple: either you loved someone or you didn’t. Yet as if to mock me, the air around us whispered, in the same woman’s voice, “Though I loved him best I treated him worst.” Ari laughed, a pained sound.
Dealing, of course, with Laxdæla saga, rather than Njála. But then, many of the sagas are all entwined to some extent, and while Hallgerður gets only a one line mention in Laxdæla, both the men above were her nephews. One wonders, a little, what she made of the next generation’s tragedies. Of course, if I remember my timelines right the tragedies of Njála were still playing out at that point, too, for all that Hallgerður was no longer part of that story.