Monday, April 23, 2018

P is for Pride (of a Prince): Zelazny A to Z

Pride

/pr─źd/

  1. The consciousness of one's own dignity.
  2. Tthe quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance.
Two passages on pride from Nine Princes in Amber


"Look, I said I'm sorry," I told him. "What do you want me to do? Nobody got hurt and there was no damage."
    "They shouldn't turn goddamn drivers like you loose on die road!" he yelled. "You're a friggin' menace!"
    Random got out of the car then and said, "Mister, you'd better move along!" and he had a gun in his hand.
    "Put that away," I told him, but he flipped the safety catch off and pointed.
    The guy turned around and started to run, a look of fear widening his eyes and loosening his jaw.
    Random raised the pistol and took careful aim at the man's back, and I managed to knock his arm to the side
just as he pulled the trigger.
    It scored the pavement and ricocheted away.
    Random turned toward me and his face was almost white.
    "You bloody fool!" he said. "That shot could have hit the tank!"
    "It could also have hit the guy you were aiming at."
    "So who the hell cares? We'll never pass this way again, in this generation. That bastard dared to insult a Prince of
Amber! It was your honor I was thinking about."
    "I can take care of my own honor," I told him, and something cold and powerful suddenly gripped me and answered, "for he was mine to kill, not yours, had I chosen," and a sense of outrage filled me.
    He bowed his head then, as the cab door slammed and the truck took off down the road.
    "I'm sorry, brother," he said. "I did not mean to presume. But it offended me to hear one of them speak to you in such a manner. I know I should have waited to let you dispose of him as you saw fit, or at least have consulted with you."

And

    "Wait!" he cried out. "I spoke hastily. I don't want to lose your counsel, if nothing else. Stay with me, please. I will even apologize."
    "That is not necessary," I said, knowing what this thing means to a prince of Amber. "I'll stay. I think I can help you."

The overweening pride of the royal family is largely a characterization that was abandoned in later books, but I think it's interesting to examine how it informs the first one.

No comments:

Post a Comment