Saturday, 30 July 2016

Temporal Pathetic Fallacy

(These two covers represented the entire Time Patrol series - until Poul Anderson wrote more.)

John Sandoval contemplates the Chinese conquest of North America:

"'Good God, Manse! When Columbus gets here, he'll find his Grand Cham all right! The Sachem Khan of the strongest nation on earth!'" (Time Patrol, p. 149)

Next, something remarkable happens that I have not remarked on before, not in terms of fictional events, just in terms of Anderson's prose:

"Sandoval stopped. Everard listened to the gallows creak of branches in the wind." (ibid.)

Of course Sandoval stopped speaking but Anderson states this in order to convey that there was then a silence during which:

"[Everard] looked into the night for a long while..." (ibid.)

The gallows of the history protected by the Patrol? Wodan and his wind returned from earlier centuries? The pathetic fallacy in time as well as in nature.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm also reminded of Christopher Columbus' pathetic insistence to his dying day that it was ASIA he had reached, not two hitherto "unknown" continents. It was Japan, China, or India he had been hoping to reach, after all.