Friday, 19 August 2016

Three Persons In One Narration

Poul Anderson, Operation Luna (New York, 2000).

First person narration can be as unobtrusive as third person narration but not when the narrator directly addresses the reader in the second person:

"...there had been times to match this, also involving her, but they're none of your business." (p. 17)

Steve Matuchek narrates and here he explicitly addresses an audience who cannot be the reading public of our Earth. So does Matuchek, like Dr Watson, write an account to be published on his Earth? That is the most likely explanation although not the only possible one. When Matuchek narrated Operation Chaos, he was not writing a book to be read on his Earth but broadcasting thoughts to be received on other Earths with no assurance as yet that any such other Earths existed. I think that the citizens of the goetic Earth know more about other universes eleven years later (p. 9) in Operation Luna. And they will certainly know considerably more a few years after that when Valeria Matuchek is an adult. So does Steve again address the multiverse?

In Operation Luna, he states that Ginny and he:

"...had been famous ourselves for a while, headline material. That was eleven years ago." (p. 9)

An author makes such a statement in Volume II of a series in case his public have not read Volume I whereas, if he were broadcasting between universes, then he might assume that his audience, if they exist in the first place, have already received the first broadcast. There was a sense of urgency about that first broadcast. Matuchek's Adversary might threaten more than one universe. That sense is absent from Operation Luna.

Although the events of the two volumes are eleven years apart, Matuchek's narrations are not. In the introductory passage of Operation Chaos, he refers to:

"...that which happened to me, so many years ago..." (p.1)

- so this narration might be even later than the events of Operation Luna.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think your suggestion that in OPERATION LUNA Steven Matuchek was writing a memoir some years after the events in that books makes sense. The lack of any sense of urgency and no mention of it being broadcast to other universes would seem to clinch that.