FIND in
<--prev V30 next-->

From: "Tony Ellis" <LittleSense@necronomicon.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Shottered scats
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 16:45:36 +0100

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> But if some time-traveller were to strangle Hitler in his
> crib, I'm willing to bet the Holocaust would turn out not to have
> happened, at least not in the form and to the extent it actually
> did.

If there's one thing recent conflicts in Africa and Bosnia have taught us,
it's that there is no shortage of people who think that the one thing their
country needs is a good ethnic cleansing.

The historical momentum which ensured that, when the Great Depression
struck, the unemployed, humiliated German masses would follow someone who
offered them an international Jewish-Communist conspiracy to unite against,
was hundreds, thousands, of years old. There for the taking.

In 1929 Hitler just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
There was an emergency backup anti-Semite standing on a chair and shouting
in every second beer hall in the Weimar Republic. Kill Adolf, and it would
be rather surprising if one of these other men -didn't- rise to power.

Quoting you, quoting me, quoting Michael Straight:
> > > All of human history and society would be very, very, very
> > > different if men died immediately after having intercourse.
> > Different, certainly. "Very, very, very different" is conjecture.
> Ummmm... no. For example, the following things are absolutely
> true of such a world:
...Long list of changes...
> Possibly there would be some "cancellation," but given the
> absolute differences that _must_ follow from the premise, I
> can't see history simply healing over.

Neither can I. Neither can Wolfe. That's why he shows us a world plainly
different to our own. Hospitals for the mentally ill are more enlightened.
Technology, in some respects, is more advanced. Nobody said anything about
history "simply healing over", only of it managing to arrive at a similar
1988 to our own -through different means-.

Michael Straight wrote:
> This is actually a radically sceptical view of history: you're saying that
> we can never know anything about the causes of events.

Not even I'm quite that sceptical, Michael :-). I'm merely saying that we
can't know -everything- about the causes of events. Would the Roman legion
have failed to conquer the ancient world without the innovations of Marius,
or would some other old campaigner have come up with the same innovations
two weeks later, because the time was right for them to be discovered?

Alga wrote:
> The new NYRSF presents, from one Henry Wessells, citing a biography of
> Mervyn Peake by G. Peter Winnington, the fact that Peake (1911-1968)
> spent nine of his first eleven years in China: "Parallels between the
> early life of the Boy-Emperor and Titus Groan as recounted in the first
> two of Mervyn's novels are numerous and striking."

Intriguingly, Wessells has singled out what is only a passing thought in
Winnington's biography, dispensed with in one paragraph and never touched on
again. For what it's worth, I quite agree that the TV adaption wasn't nearly
weird enough, but I think primarily it just wasn't -long- enough.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

<--prev V30 next-->