(urth) Ravd of Redhall

John Watkins john.watkins04 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 13 09:53:00 PST 2009

(slaps self on forehead)

I wish I'd thought of that myself--it makes incredibly good sense.

I loaned my books out to a friend.  I do know that Michael's feathers are
white and that they look like a white robe when he pulls his wings in.

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 12:48 PM, Craig Brewer <cnbrewer at yahoo.com> wrote:

>  This is wonderful! When I get home, I'll have to pull out WK and see if
> there happens to be a lot of "white" associated with Michael. I just can't
> recall.
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com>
> *To:* The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
> *Sent:* Friday, February 13, 2009 11:22:03 AM
> *Subject:* Re: (urth) Ravd of Redhall
> Yes, "Spenser reference" may have been too confident. I think the intended
> meaning originates with Spenser, but does not end there.
> I think that although Redcrosse has the plot function you describe,
> "Red-cross Knight" has, through Tennyson, a more general significance as a
> knight who exemplifies the chivalric ideal ("A red-cross knight forever
> kneeled/to a Lady in his shield" in "The Lady of Shalott").  The "red"
> without the "cross" here could signify Ravd's role of inspiring Able to
> follow the path of *pre-Christian *chivalric virtue, which I take as sort
> of the point of the story.
> Chesterton, in *Orthodoxy*, uses red and white, the colors of the shield
> of St. George (i.e., the Redcrosse Knight) to symbolize the Christian
> balance between opposing virtues:
> " It *is* true that the historic Church has at once emphasised celibacy
> and emphasised the family; has at once (if one may put it so) been fiercely
> for having children and fiercely for not having children. It has kept them
> side by side like two strong colours, red and white, like the red and white
> upon the shield of St. George. It has always had a healthy hatred of pink.
> It hates that combination of two colours which is the feeble expedient of
> the philosophers. It hates that evolution of black into white which is
> tantamount to a dirty gray. In fact, the whole theory of the Church on
> virginity might be symbolized in the statement that white is a colour: not
> merely the absence of a colour."
> Again, there's no "cross" here, and no "white" in a knight named Sir Red of
> Redhall.  Thus the virtues that Ravd represents, by my reading are the more
> passionate, "red" Christian virtues, undiluted by mixture with the "white"
> Christian virtues but also not restrained by coexisting with them.  So we
> see Able sometimes acting like kind of a jerk--he has some virtues, but he
> does not represent their unity.
> On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 11:35 AM, Craig Brewer <cnbrewer at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>  If it's a Spenser reference, it's oblique. The Knight of Holiness in the
>> Faerie Queene is called Redcrosse, but he's also St. George. In FQ, he's a
>> young, untested knight who fails repeatedly to live up to his moniker until
>> he learns how to stop being chivalrous (depending on self) and learns to be
>> faithful (depending on God). In FQ, he's more like Able, and Arthur is more
>> like Ravd (from Able's perspective), in terms of representing an ideal of
>> knighthood. Still, the "Red" is very telling.
>> There's no one named Ravd (or close relative to that sound) that I recall.
>> I wish there was, however. I read Wizard Knight with Spenser in mind, but
>> never caught direct references, or so I thought. It certainly deals with
>> similar terrain, however, both thematically and "surface" level. If someone
>> could show me that I missed things, however, I'd be eternally grateful.
>> Craig
>>  ------------------------------
>> *From:* John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com>
>> *To:* The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
>> *Sent:* Friday, February 13, 2009 9:55:09 AM
>> *Subject:* Re: (urth) Ravd of Redhall
>> I think it's a Spenser reference as well, and likely a Chesterton
>> reference.
>> On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 10:50 AM, Scott Wowra <swowra at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>   Folks,
>>> I am new to Urth.net <http://urth.net/>, so my observations are original
>>> (to me) and not based on reading your threads (although I have perused
>>> them).
>>> I am working on some onomastics of major characters in The Knight.
>>> Below are speculations of Ravd of Redhall. Any feedback you have is
>>> appreciated.
>>>   Ravd of Redhall Background
>>> Sir Ravd of Redhall appears in Chapter 4 of *The Knight.* Ravd is a
>>> knight in the service of Duke Marder ("marder" is German for marten, a
>>> solitary carnivore related to the weasel). Able describes Ravd in his list
>>> of characters as, "The best knight I ever saw" (p. 13). 'Best' probably
>>> refers to Ravd's strict adherence to the code of chivalry.
>>>  Onomastics
>>> The term "ravd" appears to be a variant of "red" in Old Norse, which was
>>> the language spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia during the Viking Age
>>> [5] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Norse_language>.
>>>  "The word / ravd /in the context you mention is just a spelling variant
>>> of the colour adjective /rauðr/ m in Old Norse, meaning "red". As an
>>> anthroponym it refers, in all probability, to the colour of a (male) persons
>>> hair." (Hagland, personal communication; 2009)
>>> The epithet "red" appears in both Norse Mythology and Arthurian Legend.
>>>  1. Norse Mythology. The god Thor possessed red hair and a red beard.
>>> The Viking chieftains Erik the Red and Thorstein the Red conquered lands
>>> during the Viking Age.
>>> 2. Arthurian Legend. The "Red Knight" is an appellation referring to 3
>>> major knights, depending on the source materials, including Percival,
>>> Gawain, and Galahad [6] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Knight>.
>>>  Interpretation
>>> The interaction between Able and Ravd in Chapters 4-6 may represent early
>>> passages in *'Percival, the Story of the Grail* [7]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perceval,_le_Conte_du_Graal>. Percival is a naive lad of 15, ignorant in the code of chivalry. He
>>> encounters a group of knights, and is so impressed by them, resolves to
>>> become a knight himself. Percival travels to King Arthur's court, but due to
>>> his crude clothes, naive manner, and lack of training, is not well received
>>> by Arthur's knights. Outside of Arthur's castle, young Percival bests a
>>> knight in red armor. Claiming the armor and charger, Percival is knighted
>>> and earns the appellation of the Red Knight.
>>> If Able in some ways represents Percival, the Red Knight, then Ravd of
>>> Redhall is the exemplar on which Able models his behavior. "Ravd of Redhall"
>>> is therefore a clue inserted by Mr. Wolfe to look to the story of the Red
>>> Knight for insights into Able's motivations and development.
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