Thursday, April 21, 2016

21: Roger Zelazny Quote of the Day: Misli, gammi gra'dil...

"Who are you?" I asked.
"Strygalldwir is my name. Conjure with it and I will eat your heart and liver."
"Conjure with it? I can't even pronounce it," I said, "and my cirrhosis would give you indigestion. Go away."
"Who are you?" it repeated.
"Misli, gammi gra'dil, Strygalldwir," I said, and it jumped as if given a hotfoot.
"You seek to drive me forth with such a simple spell?" it asked when it settled again. "I am not one of the lesser ones."
"It seemed to make you a bit uncomfortable."
"Who are you?" it said again.
"None of your business, Charlie. Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home-"
"Four times must I ask you and four times be refused before I may enter and slay you. Who are you?"
"No," I said, standing. "Come on in and burn!"

The Context: Mostly provided by the exchange. Early in the Guns of Avalon, the demon Strygalldwir has come to slay Corwin, and must ask entry and be refused four times before it may enter and slay him.

Why I like it: Guns of Avalon is my favorite book of the Amber series, and this may be my favorite part of the book. I wasn't the first to make the observation by any means, but as I do agree that Zelazny had a tendency to return to a similar set of traits when writing his characters. I think Corwin here is the apotheosis of that archetype of the Mythic Smartass.

Also, Misli, gammi gra'dil, Strygalldwir has a great sound to it.

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