Thursday, 24 September 2015
Problems With Tenses
However, I cannot take Morlock Night seriously either as a sequel to The Time Machine or as any other kind of time travel novel. It was written as part of a projected series about successive historical reincarnations of King Arthur yet this fact is concealed in the blurb.
In the text, Merlin, no less, states:
"'The year 1892 has become the hole through which the Sea of Time is leaking away. Even as we sit here the events of the years before and after this date are blurring into our own time. If the process is not halted and reversed, soon all Time from the Earth's beginning to its end will run together into one year, then contract into a single day, a minute, second, then - like that! Blink out of existence. Leaving that dark, timeless desert you found yourself in.'"
KW Jeter, Morlock Night (Oxford, 2011), p. 70-71.
Poul Anderson mentions some "...blink[ing] out of spacetime..." ("Delenda Est" IN Time Patrol, p. 204) but nothing on this scale:
"...1892 has become..." (my emphasis). 1892 is a period of time. But we are supposed to accept that there was a time before it had become a hole and that this conversation is occurring at a time after it has become a hole.
"...as we sit here the events of the years before and after this date are..." (my emphasis). Thus, at this moment, events that occurred before this moment and events that will happen after this moment are undergoing a process.
How can events from earlier and later times "blur into" the present time? Along what temporal axis does this "blurring" process occur?
Need I go on? (I cannot read any more.)