Sunday, 8 July 2018

Ivory

While in London and reading no Poul Anderson, I found an obscure associative link between two writers that we have compared with Anderson: HG Wells and Neil Gaiman.

Gaiman's The Sandman refers to the Greek myth that false dreams come through a gate of ivory whereas true dreams come through a gate of horn. See here. In his introduction to the SF Masterworks edition of Wells' The Time Machine, Gwyneth Jones suggests that the inclusion of ivory among the components of the Time Machine implies the falsity of the Time Traveler's narrative: a fanciful but resonant allusion.

Gaiman's fictional account of time travel is discussed here.

While away, I revived yet another proto-story (very proto-) from long ago. See here. This one began life as a school "essay" and originally contained a lot of unnecessary discussion of the theory of time travel.

3 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember how Wells had the Time Traveler using ivory in the manufacturing of his time machine. But my thought was that this was not an obscure hint stressing the falsity of THE TIME MACHINE; rather, it was an example of how Victorians liked to use high quality materials in their machines. A real example of what I mean being the Great Telescope built by the astronomy loving Earl of Rosse (the third earl, I believe).

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
I think that your explanation is more plausible.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Thanks! I also thought of the Art Deco movement of the early 1900's to the 1930's as also expressing the desire to use fine materials in buildings, interior designs, automobiles, etc.

Sean