[LMB] BD: Other nominees?

Thad Coons tocoons at gmail.com
Fri Jun 3 20:03:38 BST 2011


>
> James Nicoll wrote:
>
> In the time travellers' defense, many of them are idiots and they seem to
> be extremely badly educated about the past, given that one of them is
> confounded by the terror that is a revolving door.
> *Tony Zbaraschuk wrote:*
> **
> I have never really liked Willis' novels; great atmospherics, often,
> but most of the plot suffers from the fact that her people are
> rampaging idiots.
>

I wonder how much of this impression is because is because they
*are* idiots, or because their ignorance and befuddlement when
encountering unfamiliar or unexpected elements of contemp culture
is so often exploited for comic effect. What one person finds
at least mildly humorous simply irritates another, I suppose.

Most people experienced with foreign travel can recount at
least a few hilarious / hideously embarrassing moments
(experienced, observed, heard of) stemming from cultural
ignorance. Connie Willis definitely uses the notion that the
past is a  foreign country, and what her characters think they
know about it is sometimes gratifyingly confirmed and
sometimes treacherously wrong.



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