Thursday, 13 November 2014


Occasionally, when rereading this blog, I have noticed a minor error and corrected it. A couple of times, I have noticed a major error, like getting a name or title wrong, and have immediately corrected it. Have any blog readers noticed such errors but failed to draw attention to them out of a sense of politeness? (Please help me to get things right.)

I try both to quote or summarize accurately and also to discuss issues as they arise - and Poul Anderson's works address every major issue. When the issues are scientific, I hope that I sufficiently understand them while trying to summarize them. The blog might become one resource for anyone setting out to write more considered essays or articles about Poul Anderson's works?

The pleasure of engaging with the texts is immeasurably enhanced by close rereading for the purpose of summarizing. This process reveals what a wealth of information is present in texts that are often read just once and quickly for the pleasure of their immediate narrative. Dominic Flandry escapes from Talwin but how much have we been told about the life cycles on that planet? Manse Everard resolves a problem in the Roman Empire but how much have we been told about the history of the Empire? This process of deeper understanding seems to be endless although I will probably reach a limit as to how much meaning I can dig out of any given work for the time being.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Sometimes I point out errors you've made, which you then correct. Other times you've pointed out errors I've meade! (Smiles)

Hmmm, your point about how Manse Everard and the Time Patrol knows more about the Roman Empire than we do interested me. I can easily imagine Patrol scholars tracking down the parts of Tacitus' writings which we have lost. And the lost books written by the Emperor Claudius.

While I agree there is a limit to what one man can say about the works of a single writer, such as Poul Anderson, comments by others might stimulate fresh thought and discover new angles. Which is what I think my brief original comment about "A Little Knowledge" has done for you.