Reading and watching

What I really meant to say in the previous entry was that I've been running into a lot of WWII-era stuff lately. These Sturgeon stories, for example. And, more directly relevant, Marge Piercy's Gone to Soldiers. (Though I haven't read much of that since I got back from WorldCon; I'd been reading it on planes, during the three trips out east and the two to Portland that I took this summer. Lots of traveling, lots of cons, lots of weddings. I'm glad to be done with air travel for the year.) In that book, I've gotten up to July 1942. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, and I'm finding the tension odd: I know what's going to happen. Not to these characters (who are extremely well-drawn, btw), but in general. When one of the young Jewish characters living in France at the time of the occupation starts out (in 1939) talking about how the Germans aren't so bad and we should be more international and cosmopolitan and so on, it makes me wince. As it's meant to, of course; Piercy knows what she's doing. It's kinda like watching Anakin Skywalker and knowing how he's going to turn out. Only much much more skillfully written. The whole train-wreck-in-slow-motion thing; makes me want to yell at the characters, "Get out! It's a trap! Don't do it!"

And then last night Kam and I watched Cradle Will Rock. It's set in 1936-1937 (though in real life parts of the story took place up to five years earlier), and once again there's this sense of antici...pation, knowing something about what comes next.

It makes me wonder if fifty years from now, people reading or watching stories about the WTC attack will be thinking the same thing. "Ouch. They didn't know what was coming." I hope it'll be more like "They had so little perspective; they didn't realize what a tempest in a teapot all this would turn out to be."

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