[LMB] BD: Other nominees?
tonyz at eskimo.com
Sat Jun 4 02:14:39 BST 2011
On Fri, Jun 03, 2011 at 03:03:38PM -0400, Thad Coons wrote:
> > 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.
Quite possibly. The thing with Willis is that I read _Doomsday Book_,
and remember liking it at the time, but almost everything resembling a
plot point has dropped out of my memory. Episodes stick, but why or
wherefore things happened are beyond me to explain.
> Most people experienced with foreign travel can recount at
> least a few hilarious / hideously embarrassing moments
> (experienced, observed, heard of) stemming from cultural
Including myself. But I don't _like_ reading about such episodes,
or remembering them, and I actively cringe whenever I get the sense
that someone is Enjoying That Miserable Ignoramus F*cking Up. (This
may be connected to why I can't bear to re-read the dinner party
People getting What's Properly Coming To Them, on the other hand,
is something I can enjoy (which is why I can read Cordelia's Talk
With Miles the day after without wincing too much.)
> 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.
Perchance, but while I read tDB and have enjoyed a number of her short
stories, I've never really felt the urge to pick up anything else of
Anton's was the one trade which, along with philosophers, always
understood the precedence of epistemology. -- Eric Flint, "From the Highlands"
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