Sunday, 16 November 2014
How To Be Ethnic In One Easy Lesson
"...a picture from within of Terran society when the Polesotechnic League was in its glory..." (The Van Rijn Method, p. 176).
I think of "How To be Ethnic..." as the opening League story, to be followed by the works introducing Nicholas van Rijn and David Falkayn.
Hloch tells us that spaceman James Ching wrote life-long reminiscences and settled in Catawrayannis where his descendants kept his notebooks and made them available to Hloch's mother, the Avalonian historian, Rennhi. Thus, Hloch was able to include in the Earth Book Ching's account, "How To be Ethnic...," of his dealings with Adzel when both were students on Earth.
Without Hloch, we would have been able to read "How To be Ethnic..." in Future Quest and would thus have known that Ching had become apprenticed to a Master Merchant of the Polesotechnic League. However, we would not have known about:
Ching's life-long reminiscences;
his continued career as a spaceman;
his eventual settling down in Catawrayannis;
his descendants' preservation of his noticebooks;
their making these notebooks available to Rennhi;
thus, the eventual publication of this one story in the Earth Book.
As with the Dalmady family and with a particular Terrestrial correspondence transcribed and preserved on Esperance, Hloch relates considerably more of the history than is conveyed by the stories that he introduces.