Pirate as nomadI have been thinking about the conceptual framework for my pirate book. I had a good chat with Halina in which she urged me to think of a theme. Of course, I think my theme is "pirates are cool", but obviously a book needs more bubbling under it than that. It struck me that what is cool about pirates (in the romantic conception of them; the reality was rather harsher) is that they are nomads, and have the same sort of codes that nomads do. The similarity is not exact, but it's reasonably close.
Nomads are interesting because they offer a lens to view our world through. They offer different ways of organising ourselves, different conceptions of the world, different ways of relating to our gods (I wrote a (very long) essay about the input of nomadism into Christianity, in particular in the Satan story, here: http://zenmb.blogspot.com/2007/12/satan.html).
In many setting, the nomads despised and preyed on the settled. This is what pirates do, although for somewhat different reasons. They too are wanderers, and although they are tied together by greed rather than blood, they too have a code of honour, are deeply egalitarian, share power among themselves, must master their culture because they cannot transmit it.
In the end, my theme is something like "how is life made without a home?". With swordfights and buggery.