Friday, 26 May 2017

The War II

See The War.

Contemporary novels become dated, then cease to be contemporary.

Poul Anderson's Murder In Black Letter was published in 1960. See here. Its main viewpoint character, Professor Kintyre, was aged nine in 1930. Thus, he was in World War II and, somewhere in the text, he tells us what either he or an acquaintance was doing in 1943. (I find it difficult to scan back and find relevant passages in an ebook.) (Later: I realized that I can search the ebook, e.g., for "1943.")

My interest, as before, is in fiction that was written when World War II was still a living memory. We are passing out of such a period. The longest running British TV soap opera began in late 1960 - originally intended as only a six-episode serial! In that opening episode, one elderly character spoke disparagingly about how a rather younger woman had conducted herself during the War. That whole period is becoming history. The cast of the soap has changed many times since then with only one character, originally a teenager, still played by his aging actor. I value Anderson's character, Manse Everard. Joining the Time Patrol in 1954, Everard both remembers the War and becomes able to revisit it.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The most "dated" of Poul Anderson's works would be BRAIN WAVE (because of how that book was set in the early 1950's), the Yamamura novels, and THE DEVIL'S GAME. But I still value those works as being examples of how PA could write, when he chose, "contemporary" stories.