Thursday, 4 February 2016

Associative Processes

Blogging processes are allusive and associative, not logical or linear. Thus, discussion of SM Stirling's alternative histories generated speculation as to whether any of Stirling's characters might find their way into Poul Anderson's inter-cosmic inn, the Old Phoenix, but this in turn led to discussion of the historical figures that Anderson does show us in the Phoenix and that discussion proved to be far more fruitful than I had expected, despite my relative familiarity with these texts.

"Losers' Night," if read hastily, merely presents disjointed snatches of diverse conversations. I had enjoyed it even on that level. However, when reread carefully, line by line, it turns out to be a summation of the Old Phoenix sequence because it refers to Holger, Valeria, Rupert and Abelard and also reflects on the roles of several individuals in history. They made their marks so were they really "losers"?

This means that I must finish rereading the Old Phoenix passages of A Midsummer Tempest and will then be free to return to Stirling's Conquistador. But first I hope that there will be a family visit to the Wolfhouse Gallery this afternoon and a historical talk this evening.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

While I agree the men and women we see in "Losers' Night" made their marks in history, I doubt they would consider themselves to have been SUCCESSES while alive. After all, Cleomenes III of Sparta failed in his attempt to overthrow the oligarchy which had come to dominate the kingdom. Mary I of England failed in her attempt at permanently reversing the schism of Henry VIII and Edward VI (altho I think, given a few more years on the throne, she might have succeeded). And Theo van Gogh only became a success as an artist after his death. And so on!