JRRT and rabbit stew in an Ursula K. LeGuin interview

Irina Rempt irina at valdyas.org
Tue Feb 17 15:33:46 EST 2004

On Tuesday 17 February 2004 21:07, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
> Irina wrote:

> >...whether there's a word for the
> >spot in a river where it becomes navigable (or ceases to be
> > navigable, when you're going upstream).
> And is there?  And is it in English and if so what is it?  

There was some discussion about it which came down to that there isn't, 
at least not in English, which is what I needed because I'm writing the 
book in English (I don't want to be part of the Dutch market, 
especially not the Dutch fantasy market, and I'm bilingual anyway).

Some people helpfully mentioned that places where boats stopped were 
usually called after the *feature* of the landscape that made it 
impossible to go further: waterfalls, rapids, a ford, or whatever. That 
made me realize that the names are usually given by people going up, 
not down the river; it's not where you start being able to navigate, 
but where you stop. I was writing about a young man who has lived 
upstream of this place all his life, so I hadn't thought of that.

Or "<something> Landing, which also seemed to work, but when someone 
suggested "Valda Falls" I could translate it into a normal-sounding 
place name, Valdei Gulynay "falling-place of the Valda" and postulate a 
nice waterfall. There aren't any real mountains around there, just 
rolling hills, but that doesn't preclude (little) waterfalls, of 

> > And what 
> is the proper definition of navigable, how big a boat/ship does that
> mean?  How does it relate to tidal?  Oh, please!  Give!  Give!  You
> *can't* not tell us now, that's really cruel!

Tides are right out; it's about seven hundred miles inland.

The proper definition of navigable is, in this case: right up to the 
place where you have to stop because a boat can't go up a waterfall.


Vesta veran, terna puran, farenin.         http://www.valdyas.org/irina/
Beghinnen can ick, volherden will' ick, volbringhen sal ick.
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