Friday, 16 June 2017
stories about historical figures; historical fictions;
Many works of fiction merely recount the deeds of heroes. Some authors go further by reflecting on the interplay between a real person and his historical persona. David Crockett would be an excellent candidate for such treatment. Sean Connery's Robin Hood tells the minstrel, Alan-a-Dale, "It didn't happen like that," and I think that this same phrase was used in a film about the Earps. A man who knows enough to say, "It didn't happen like that," stands at the intersection between history and story, fiction or legend.
The Ythrian historian, Hloch, tells his Avalonian readers that on many inhabited planets it is not their Founder, David Falkayn, that lives in folk memory as either hero or rogue but Falkayn's mentor, Nicholas van Rijn. SM Stirling's colonists of Venus know that they are heroes of adventure stories back on Earth. While Stirling's Rudi Mackenzie and his companions pursue their Quest for the Sword of the Lady, stories and songs about them, composed by Rudi's mother, circulate among the Mackenzies and their allies. The stories include a vision of the Virgin to Father Ignatius. But we have read a prose account of that vision! So where is the line between fictional fact and fictional story? The Author knows. I will continue to read. It really is quite intriguing.
(Busy days. Less time for blogging.)