Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The End Of The Dancer From Atlantis

Regarding the end of Poul Anderson's The Dancer From Atlantis, I have already written:

The Cleverest Kind Of Time Travel Story
They See Themselves

The attached cover image shows young and old Erissa.

A futurian time traveler asks:

"'If it were possible, would you want to lose your past? Out of it must come your tomorrows.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Dancer From Atlantis, CHAPTER TWENTY, p. 168.

The futurian refers to Reid's and Erissa's "past" immediately after the destruction of Atlantis. Thus the "tomorrows" include the adult life that Erissa already remembers and the years that are still to come.

The sentence, "Out of it must come your tomorrows...," expresses Andersonian optimism. It is impossible to "lose" our past. Even if we were to initiate a divergent timeline, then we would still remember and be influenced by our original timeline. But the twentieth century would have been better without World War I and all its consequences. My life would have been better with a different start. But then it would not have been my life.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I prefer Frank Frazetta's paintings of the older and younger Erissa he made for THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS.

While it is true we would not have been what we are now (or possibly have even existed at all), I still can't help wondering what might have happened if the Sarajevo assassination and WW I (and its gruesome consequences) had not occurred. Better or worse? Impossible to know in our timeline/world.