dom 25 Ene 2015
I was tempted to make some mention to Mother’s ecology but in the end I gave up. I wanted to provide clues as to the origin of Mother of which I will say no more to give away the story. The problem was how to say it without comparing it to Earth’s own ecology because in that world, Earth is not known to exist thus, to be self-consistent, the novel cannot make such comparisons.
Obviously, Earth exists and we are here and it is us who read the novel but making references to Earth would take the reader out of that fantasy world, put a distance in between the reader and the subjects in the novel. If the reader was immersed in that world, we suddenly wake her/him up out of it.
If we took that idea to the extreme, the best would be to write the novel in Mother’s own language ignoring any terrestrial languages so the novel would be totally self-consistent, the immersion would be complete. The Coriolis effect I mention somewhere in the novel would have to be called after whomever described it first in that world. Everything would have to be written in terms, language and expressions an inhabitant of Mother would understand. It would be as if Tolkien wrote The Hobbit in runes or whatever the language of each specific narrator is. It wouldn’t have sold many copies or made movies, not that I have managed to do either.
Going back to ecology. For example, here on Earth I can mention that the Argentinian Pampas have no native trees, which assumes you know what a tree is, a knowledge which would have been beyond your reach if you had only known the Pampas as they were before colonization. Likewise, though I could have described what there was to be found in Mother, it would have been impossible to describe what was missing because, if that was the case, nobody in that world would have ever noticed. Since the ecologic hints I wanted to drop at the beginning had to do with missing things, I was unable to provide them.
Of course, the ecology was just one such issue. As I mentioned earlier, the language would have been the first. Should I write it in English or in, shall we call it, Motherish? What Earthbound assumptions are safe to make? Should Mother inhabitants be erect bipeds? Would they use clothes? Do they talk or sign at each other? Do they have hands to sign with?
In the end, unless they are crucial to the story, you let your Earthbound assumptions tacitly prevail because you are not trying to describe a fantasy world but just tell a story within an alien scenery and you don’t want to distract the reader from the story.