Friday, 16 June 2017

What Do You Remember?

SM Stirling, The Scourge Of God (New York, 2009), Chapter Three, p. 82.

Denson: "'You're not old enough to remember the Change, are you?'"
Ingolf: "'Nope...Not really. I remember the flash of light and the headache, but not much before that and not much more after, not for years. I wasn't even six then.'"
Denson: "Yeah, I can't remember much of when I was six either.'"
Ingolf: "'I do remember how scared everyone was.'"
Denson: "'Yes...I was old enough to know.'"

Each of us can parallel this dialogue from our own life experience:

I am not old enough to remember the War;
I do remember living in a post-War period;
I have no memory of the Coronation in 1953 although I do remember it being referred to as a recent important event;
I remember saying that I was six and, a year later, seven;
I finished secondary school and started University in 1967, the Summer of Love - fifty years ago;
in 1989, when there was a film about the Profumo Affair, I was a mature College student and told younger students that I remembered asking, "What's this Profumo business?," and adults not answering.

Poul Anderson's Dominic Flandry remembers that, when he was a boy, there were news reports of the Alarri fleet crossing the marches with nuclear weapons, then being defeated by an Imperial Navy task force at the Battle of Mirzan. The first Quatermass TV serial climaxes with the appearance of an extraterrestrial monster on the roof of Westminster Abbey and, in the novelization of the fourth serial, a character remembers his mother pulling him away from the TV screen...

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor ,Paul!

The earliest memory I have goes back to age three, but of course it took me years longer before I had CONSISTENT memories.

I like to think Dominic Flandry was probably aged 12 at the time of the Battle of Mirzan, because it's probably around that age most of us truly start thinking about what we remember. In this case the news reports read by the young Flandry about the Alarri invasion.