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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Novel Wednesdays

One last piece from Connie Willis's Blackout. This introduces one of the most interesting (and, to me, appealing) parts of the book, its interest in everyday heroism.

"But do you actually have to be on the boat with Lord Nelson or whoever it is? Couldn't you observe him from a safe distance?"

"No," Michael said. "One, the New Orleans is a ship, not a boat. Boats are what rescued the soldiers from Dunkirk. Two, observing from a safe distance is what historians were stuck doing before Ira Feldman invented time travel. Three, Lord Nelson was at Trafalgar, not Pearl Harbor, and four, I'm not studying the heroes who lead navies--and armies--and win wars. I'm studying ordinary people who you wouldn't expect to be heroic, but who, when there's a crisis, show extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice."

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