[LMB] Penric's Demon discussion: Good intentions

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 17 07:08:38 BST 2019

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, the old chestnut goes.

“Oh, Pen, why ever did you . . . ?” his mother flung at him. 
“I . . . I didn’t . . .” Pen’s hands waved. 
“I thought the old lady was sick!” Which had been, well, not wrong. 
“I was just trying to help!”

Bujold, Lois McMaster. Penric's Demon . Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

This is Penric in a nutshell. Always trying to help, but the consequences of
helping quickly get beyond him. 

I'm sure we all feel the same way sometimes. Have you had a time
when you only met to help, but it turned into a disaster before 
getting any better? 

I can't remember anything that was a disaster, but I remember once
being in a immigration line with a lady from the Caribbean, and she 
was having trouble getting the Japanese officials to understand her.
I stayed to help translate.

I finally got out, and my husband (who was in the line for Japanese
passport holders) scolded me; still, we didn't miss our flight, so I
don't feel bad at all for that one.  

I can think of a few translating adventures that could have turned out
very, very badly -- like helping a pregnant lady communicate with the 
doctors. Thinking back, oof, the hubris I had. She wound up on bedrest,
so she really needed the help. Everything worked out OK in the end, 
though. Healthy baby, healthy mom! 

I don't think Penric regrets taking on Desdemona, either. Bemused by
other's reactions sometimes, but never regretful. (Maybe during his 
medical apprenticeship, though.) 


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list