Sunday, 19 March 2017
Hash Browns And Conversations
Mike Havel eats "...another fried egg...," then "...load[s] more hash browns on his plate." (p. 471)
A man after my own heart! So how many of each does he eat? Yesterday, we had a very short stop on our way to London so I bought a take-out breakfast including two fried eggs and two hash browns. Sometimes we have breakfast at a place where I load my plate with them.
This chapter is part of an extended section of the novel when the good guys discuss recent activities, interrupted by frequent lengthy flashbacks to those activities. Sir Nigel describes his meeting with the dictatorial "Protector," then a flash back passage recounts the meeting from Sir Nigel's pov. However we leave that pov before returning to the good guys' conversation because another short passage recounts a conversation between the Protector and his wife when they are alone. Whose pov is this? Most of it could be an externally observed dialogue. We might initially assume that it is the Protector's pov because the passage begins with him grinning when he is alone with his wife. So, if it is anyone's, it is going to be his pov unless we are informed otherwise. When we are told that he grits his teeth, it is even more likely to be his pov although the teeth-gritting is externally observable because her smile widens when the gritting happens. Finally, we are told what he is inwardly thinking so it is definitely his pov.
Pov is important. Poul Anderson and SM Stirling always get it right. The Protector and his wife are by-now-familiar Stirling villains. To them, other people exist only as means to their ends. Ideally, they would be prevented from exercising any power over anyone else. In practice, they are going to have to be killed - the sooner the better.