Sunday, 26 July 2015

"In The Presence Of Innocence"

"...what he needed to regain inner peace was not another love affair but a few more times in the presence of innocence. Like a thirsty man finding a spring to drink from, high on a mountainside -"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), pp. 6-7.

But innocence lost is the consistent theme of the Time Patrol series:

Everard and Whitcomb must sabotage Stane's plan for world peace;
Whitcomb succumbs to the temptation to change the past and must leave the Patrol;
Everard, shaken by his encounter with a Danellian, is judged to be "...unfit for steady work..." (Time Patrol, p. 53) and must retrain as an Unattached;
after fourteen years as Cyrus the Great, Keith Denison must relearn how to live in a cramped apartment with Cynthia;
Everard learns that the Patrol itself adjusts the past;
he and Van Sarawak must prevent Deirdre's timeline from coming into existence;
Everard must tell Carl to betray his followers;
Everard has learned better than to return to the Midwest of his youth;
he remembers a golden summer in Amsterdam...;
Wanda learns the consequences of intervening in past events.

Thus, Everard and his colleagues learn from experience that innocence is transitory.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I don't quite agree with your comment about Keith Denison: "after fourteen years as Cyrus the Great, Keith Denison must relearn how to live in a cramped apartment with Cynthia." The problem for "Cyrus" was deeper and more serious than that. As Cyrus the Great, the Great King, the King of the Persians and Medes, Keith Denison had learned how to think like a KING, a commander and ruler of men. Even more, a quite decent and humane ruler, a GREAT ruler as well. Surely, learning how to think and act as an ordinary man, even tho a Patrol agent, would be a tough art to relearn?


  2. Sean,
    Yes, and living with Cynthia is part of the relearning: listening to her views; deferring to her taste in decoration etc.

    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Good point, one I agree with. BOTH relearning how not to think like a king AND to live again with Cynthia.