Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Quotable Time Patrol

Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006); The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991).

An appropriately and colorfully illustrated booklet of quotations from Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series, divided into at least two sections - descriptive and reflective - would be a good idea. Some of the reflections of a time traveler are simply reflections on time and life.

Everard thinks:

"...that structure [of the plenum] isn't just changeable in time as well as space." (ST, p. 261)

What else is it then? This is allusive writing, hinting at something beyond what seems to be everything, space and time.

Everard continues:

"It seems to be subtler and trickier than they see fit to teach us about at the Academy." (ibid.)

But no one can teach all the lessons of life and experience at an Academy. Anyone who completes professional training and starts work learns de novo from day one. (When I trained as a teacher and started teaching practice in a school, a teacher lounging in his armchair in the staff room came out with the cliche that my College tutors were out of touch with the reality of teaching. I was able to tell him that he was wrong. He should have asked me in the first place. After all, I had just come from the College. My tutors were in touch but only because they had worked for many years as school teachers before becoming College tutors and still maintained very close practical contacts and liaisons with schools.)

"Coincidences can be more than accidents." (ibid.)

Can they? This requires further discussion. I remember reading a very extraordinary story about coincidences concerning the Titanic and two similarly named ships.

"Maybe Jung glimpsed a little of the truth, in his notions about synchrony - I dunno." (ibid.)

So a psychological theory might be relevant to variable time? Does the Patrol covertly consult Jung?


"The universe isn't for the likes of me to understand. I only work here." (ibid.)

The universe is where he works! Priceless!

This idea of the quotable Time Patrol has got legs - that means that it is going somewhere - but I really must get my nose away from a lap top screen and do something else for a few hours. Meanwhile, suggestions for quotable phrases, with reasons, are welcome.

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