“Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane,” (continued)
After the immediate danger has passed, David impresses Bohr, and perhaps begrudgingly his father, with his analysis of how Jewish mysticism corresponds with the physical domain of Bohr’s and David’s world; relating his father’s theory of the Sefirot, the ten channels of divine energy or life-force. They are not things, but rather numbers, and this relates to the energy of the material world that mankind perceives.
Upon arriving at Elsinore, the party of seventeen Jewish survivors, shepherded by a Danish resistance leader and his armed young son and daughter, embark and hide in the catacombs of Kronborg Castle, the setting immortalized by Shakespeare in Hamlet. While waiting for the signal to come that the boat has arrived which will ferry the party to Sweden and safety, they discover a large stone statue of Holger Danske, a Viking warrior, the “Sleeping Dane” of the story’s title. In Danish legendary lore, the Danish warrior hero, after fighting many years for his homeland, has slept since becoming war-weary. The Danes await his awakening at the moment of their greatest peril.
Just before the rescue boat’s arrival, the SS captain and party of the episode on the train, now reinforced, arrive at the castle and conduct a search of it and the surrounding grounds, which precipitates a frantic run for the just arriving boat. Rabbi Goldblum, in a final, self-sacrificial act, invokes his mystical powers and attempts to rescue the situation; the resolution of which will stretch the credulity of many readers, but seems appropriate within the context of the story and its ingenious employment of crossbred genres. The afterwards to the story is effective and poignant and reflects an extremely well-thought out plotline by Dr. Sullivan (who holds both a medical degree and a doctorate in another field).
“Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane” is the sort of story that relies more on the intellect, erudition and the painstaking research of its author than on the originality of its plot, which would otherwise be just another harrowing escape from evil Nazi thugs tale. Rather, the imaginative genius of Dr. Sullivan lies with his superb research, which he utilizes to develop a profoundly rich ambience, encompassing physical as well as philosophical elements.
One annoying flaw within this otherwise very strong effort is the presence of a consistency error on—incredibly enough—page one. Consistency errors within a manuscript usually result from revisions having been made, with the author not having been careful to thoroughly follow through with the ramifications of the revisions. The most egregious such example, and probably the most common, is when an author decides to rename a character after having finished a rough draft and then misses one or more instances with the revisions. Click to continue: