[ilds] Free Market

Richard Pine pinedurrellcorfu at gmail.com
Thu May 19 04:50:33 PDT 2016

The point is that Forster, Durrell, Heinlein et al had the genius to
realise that these developments were possible/likely, long before the
inventors discovered them. These things are only there, waiting to be
invented (by which I mean literally discovered). The mark of genius is that he
"can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he
sees the *dawn
before the rest of the world" (O Wilde) I doubt if any of us can do that -
we are merely critics and readers (and sometimes not even that)*


On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 12:00 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>

> Hi Bruce,
> On 2016-05-17 6:47 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> I think Felix’s “inventions” should not be
>> taken seriously, “Abel” in particular, but
>> I’m not sure if Durrell himself thought so.
>> He may have considered himself a sage and a
>> prophet.
> I suspect he's taking the science fiction as a useful ploy for his other
> interests -- Durrell's not working as an Asimov or Heinlein, and any
> scientific gestures might be a lot more akin to Samuel Delany or China
> Miéville: secondary to the literary and polemical interests.
> I doubt we're meant to read the book as sage advice on the nature of
> technological advancement through pogonometry.  It's more in the nature of
> "phasers" or "beam me up!": a handy device for accomplishing other things
> without admitting that really it's just magical slight of hand. It's in the
> nature of science fiction -- after all, Heinlein "predicted" the invention
> of the water bed, but he didn't invent one; E.M. Forster "predicted" a
> world in which people interact via screens rather than face to face
> meetings, but he didn't invent the internet; and Durrell "predicted" a SR
> software system, but he didn't write the code...
> That said, the inventions do allow Durrell to make some biting social
> critiques, which is home turf for much of science fiction and exactly what
> Heinlein, Forster, Delany, &c were about.  I'd say Durrell was too, just a
> bit more obviously here than elsewhere.
> All best,
> James
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