Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Theme Of Innocence Lost Continues

"...nothing would ever be the same again." (Time Patrol, p. 114)

"Nomura suspected the Unattached agent had seen enough existence to have become more foreign to him than Feliz - who was born two millenniums past either of them." (p. 115)

"...none less than God can be trusted with time. The Patrol exists to guard what is real." (p. 123)

Patrolmen usually refer to the Danellians but not to God. This short passage makes the Patrol sound like James Blish's Service which is based:

"'...upon the only principle we have ever encountered which permits a man to both choose, and not choose...I may be addressing it to nothing but a sort of cosmic Dead Letter Office, but that can't be helped. The message itself is plain. It has got to read:
"'To Whom it may concern: Thy will, not mine.'"
-James Blish, The Quincunx Of Time (New York, 1983), p. 104.

(Influenced by Blish, before meditating, I address a short agnostic prayer, "To Whom it may concern, to whatever gods may be...")

"Could any man with real roots stand knowing what will eventually happen to his own people?" (Time Patrol, p. 132)

"'We'll return [to Japan] one day.'
"Everard knew rather sadly that they would, and that a storm would destroy the fleet and drown who knows how many young men." (p. 141)

John Sandoval of the Time Patrol wonders whether his timeline is worth preserving. His parents:

"'...lived in a tumbledown hogan. I saw my father crying once, because he couldn't buy shoes for us in winter. My mother died of TB.'" (pp. 149-150)

Although the Patrol is Everard's family, nation and reason for living:

"The distant supermen turned out to be not such idealists after all. They weren't merely safeguarding a perhaps divinely ordained history which led to them. Here and there they, too, meddled, to create their own past.... Don't ask if there ever was any 'original' scheme of things. Keep your mind shut. Regard the rutted road mankind had to travel, and tell yourself that if it could be better in places, in other places it could be worse.
"'It may be a crooked game,' said Everard, 'but it's the only one in town.'" (p. 171)

- and this story is called "The Only Game In Town." It is comforting to reduce history or the universe to a single "town." However, the realization that the only game in town is crooked must count as an ultimate loss of innocence.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, In "The Only Game In Town," Everard suffered some disillusionment about the Danellians, that even they could have self interested motives.