[LMB] Cordelia's Collegiate Sport? LONG follow up

Pouncer pouncer at aol.com
Fri Jun 11 17:45:29 BST 2021


Me, as was noted, in passing:

 >Cordelia is not particularly tall...

But, upon challenge, I relent. The dispute
tends to resolve on the strength of the adverb
"particularly" and so, never resolves. (I myself,
at two  meters do not dare compare my height with the
"particularly tall" professional players of the US-NBA.
"Tall" is almost as nebulous a concept as "particularly".)
You're right, I'm wrong, Cordelia is capable of
basketball.  If other evidence presents exist. Which, I
think, it doesn't. And I did look.  That's when
I had suggested:

 > I believe we have sufficient text-evd of Cordelia's
 > speech patterns, interior thoughts and analysis,
 > and objective behaviors to make a guess.

Robert Woodward replied:

 > We do?

Well, over three novels including Cordelia's POV
and others works providing an outside view of her
behaviors and dialog,  I certainly hope so.  There is
always the question about whether we are interpreting
the character's modes of speech and thoughts (Watsonian)
or the author's  (Doylist).    (HA!  Some of you
old timers thought I had abandoned my OWN habits of
analysis.  Fools, FOOLS!  I'll show you all!!  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA 
HA HA HA HAHAHAHA ha... ha  *gasp*gasp*gasp)

As posed the question defaults to the Doylist perspective.
What we see of Cordelia reveals the character's background.

So, from there:

Elizabeth Holden says:

 >  I'd choose fencing, myself ... But that's
 > me, and if Cordelia had been a fencer, we'd have
 >heard  about it.

We have.

Eric Oppen likes the idea:

 > It would have been funny if her sport had been fencing,
 > She comes to Barrayar, and sneers at the fencing she finds
 > there, and someone asks if the "Betan frill" wants to
 > back up her words on the piste.
 > Hilarity ensues.

 >After she walks off the piste, having handily defeated several
 > reigning Barrayaran male champion fencers one after another,
 >she finds herself besieged by admirers.
 >   Aral draws her aside.  "Tough luck, gentlemen.  I found her first!"

Markus Baur on Eric's scenario:

 > oh .. shiny .. needs a fanfic !

 > otoh the things that happen in modern fencing have only a limit
 >applicability in the real world - i distinclty remebering a Modesty 
Blaise book
 >
 > so a modern fencing master might find going against someone who
 > trained in swordfighting for actual killing duels "interesting"

A series of surprises that might work both ways.

Walter Bushell reminds us of similar dichotomies.
 > Reference : Pretty duelists vice Cazaril’s sword style.

And lastly for my purposes, we have Richard G. Molpus who
asserts that:

 > Cordelia had a minor knowledge of fencing, shown when she
'addressed the wall' at Sieglings properly to test the first blade.

OKAY, yes, terrific.  I think we have consensus shaping up,
and with that bit of text-evd we can go forward with a few
other bits.

Cordelia becomes precise (and picky) about matching the
blade to the user.  "I'm looking for a SWORD stick, for
a man about six-foot-four."

Cordelia tests the first offered swordstick.
She raised the blade suddenly to THE SALUTE, AND LUNGED
at the wall IN A NEAT EXTENSION.

Cordelia versus pre-named Sergyar-ian vampire floaters:
"Cordelia, holding her torch LIKE A FENCER'S FOIL,
thrust toward it at full extension. Sparks scattered as
she jabbed two, then three times."

Aral orders Cordelia to stay put while he goes to
confront the assassin who fired the sol-toxin
grenade and poisoned them all, and so blighted Miles.
"You stay here."
"No" She brushed the glare away with an equally savage
gesture, AS IF STRIKING DOWN A SWORD THRUST.

Cordelia considering military secrets and the protection
of same and self from Aral's charm and kindness.
His curtness she could meet and match with her own
flippancy, guarding herself as with a fencer's FOIL.
His kindness was like FENCING WITH THE SEA, her strokes
going soft and losing all volition.

Cordelia considering military secrets and the protection
of same and self from Ges Vorrutyer's torture
" I don't know any military secrets worth a thing,"
she FENCED. "This isn't worth your time."

There is IIRC other evidence, which I again invite other
Listies to excavate from the canon.  Have fun.

I fail to find comparable references and metaphors and
modes of thought and speech (especially of conflict)
involving, say, "sparring" or "scrimmage" or "wrestling
with" or "taking a long shot" ...  I invite Listies
to show me what I missed. Again,  the hunt should be fun.
And provide an excuse for "Faviterating"  (*GREAT* NEW WORD!
Thanks!)

Cordelia fenced.  Foil. For points, touching the torso,
probably scored electronically.  Probably during her
schooling,  not so much if at all in the confines of her
ship duty.  But over a fairly long and formative portion of
his life, and carrying the habits forward ever after.
Prove me wrong.

I THOUGHT there was a scene in the Vorkosigan library where
Cordelia was perusing an illustrated ToI book with
a complex diagram of types of (fighting, dueling, war-making)
swords and the component parts thereof. With lexical lists of the
special terminology of each part. I can't find the scene now.
I wonder if, instead of Cordelia, it might have been Mark.
If so, that would argue for a Doylist (author's) fascination
with swords instead of Watson's (or any character's.)  Or
perhaps the author believes the market of readers has such
an interest ...

Or I have shifted between parallel, closely paired, realities.
Again.  The other day after re-arranging the wine rack my wife
set out a bottle I noticed included on the label the description
"SEKT"  Sent me thinking about Falstaff and "Sack" and
the fable of an actor famous for playing Falstaff and was addicted to 
champaign and called it Sack ...  Later went back to the bottle
on the counter and saw the label now read "BRUT" -- Examining closely
I can't find the word "Sec" or "Sekt" or anything remotely
similar on the label at all.  There is nothing on the bottle that
would have ever inspired me to wonder about Falstaff or actors. Cartoons
about Popeye and Brutus, yes.  Sack, and stage plays and actors. No.
So I conclude I'm adrift between planes of existence... this time. Or
perhaps, again.  And perhaps in one such place there is a scene
in canon where Cordelia examines an old book about SWORDS instead
of an old book written in Barrayar's version of 46 Cyrillic
Russian style alphabetic characters -- and phonetic English.
Or perhaps the Amazon Kindle edition differs, in that scene,
from the Baen hardcover.  Amazon tweaking text might be more
plausible than me shifting among parallel universes.  Slightly.
Or I could just be going crazy.  Hard to say. I think I should
open the bottle of Brut (or Sekt) with my wife and settle my
mind anyhow.  That bottle doesn't fit the rack well, you know.
If Listies could find the Cyrillic alphabet and Sword-Part
Lexicon scenes and show BOTH exist in the same reality but
different novels I might be much relieved.  Another excuse
for faviterating over the weekend, perhaps.

I'll check back with you all, later.  Have fun.




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