Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If you could travel in time. . .

I am normally not a fan of time-travel fiction, so when I do read a time-travel book and like it, I am surprised. It must be a really good book to get me over my peeve. As a plot device, time travel just doesn't do it for me. Several years ago I read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and I enjoyed it.

Lately I have read (and recommended) The Little Book by Selden Edwards. Here the main character is transported back in time to Vienna in 1897. One reason it is so captivating is because it was such an interesting time and place. The book is populated with characters from history and the arts such as Sigmund Freud and and Gustav Klimt.

As I was laying awake the other night thinking about The Little Book, I wondered where I would want to go if I were able to visit another time. It is a tough question. Would I choose someplace interesting historically or in a literary sense, such as Hemingway's Paris or the Roman Empire? Or would I choose someplace personal, like Scotland in the early 20th century while my grandfather still lived there. Or would I try to answer some enigma like what was really behind the Kennedy assassination? Or would I try to change the history of the world by holding Bartman back from interfering with that foul ball in 2003? A good question is one that brings up more questions than answers.

Where would you go? What time? What place?


Roberta said...

I always have wanted to go to Cairo, but not the Cairo of 2009. I'd like to see the Cairo of Elizabeth Peters, when the Victorians held sway and lavish feluccas plied the Nile during the sultry evenings. Very few motorcars polluted the air, and the pace was slower altogether. I could see the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings, and retire to my comfortable hotel with a gin and tonic. I admit this is a purely selfish desire -- but I really want to see the city with out television aerials on every roof.

Karen said...

To quote something Roberta once said to me, "Your questions are too hard!" I've given this a lot of thought and I just can't answer it. A big part of me would stay in my own life, but go back and see if I could make some smarter, healthier choices along the way. Spend more time with people I have already lost.

I can think one of one particular night in history when I would have liked to have been looking over the dark desert sky in Bethlehem - just to see if I noticed anything unusual. On the opposite end of the philosophical scale, I wouldn't mind some time wandering the streets of Edo, now Tokyo, during the glamorous time of the "Floating World" culture of geisha and tea houses, samurai and the like. But then I'd miss the Internet and my own music and food and lifestyle and would want to come back!

Jo said...

I wish I lived during Elizabethan England and witnessed the efforts of the up-and-coming playwright Will Shakespeare. Can you imagine going to the Globe every year and watching those plays? Can you imagine seeing the first performance of Hamlet? I'm a tingle just dreaming about it.

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