Thursday, 27 July 2017

Flies And Flypaper

"'Let the flies conquer the flypaper,' she said..."
-SM Stirling, The Tears Of The Sun (New York, 2012), Chapter Eight, p. 198.

Our old friends, the flies and the flypaper again. Increasingly, before posting about a word or phrase, I need to check whether I have already done so. See here. Both Stirling and Anderson quote Steinbeck. Please read the previous post, its link and comments.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I did look up the link you inserted here and the comments. Steinbeck crafted a very cool line! And I think the line abot the flies conquering the flypaper is universally understood to mean the danger of a conquering army getting stretched thin/bogged down in the territory it conquered.


S.M. Stirling said...

Using raw force is a more complex matter than many think. It backfires easily if you're not careful.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

I agree! And you and Poul Anderso were careful to show how complex and difficult it is to use force EFFECTIVELY. A classic recent example being the German invasion of the USSR in 1941. IF the Germans had shelved their Nazi nonsense about "race" and treated the peoples of the western USSR halfway decently, the monstrous Stalin and his cronies and hencemen would very likely had been forced to scuttle east of the Ural Mountains. Because I think most would have welcomed the Germans as liberators from Communist tyranny. The eastern borders of the Reich might well have followed the line of the Urals.

But the Germans were NOT that smart--and the rest, as they say, is now history.