Friday, 5 April 2013

Point Of VIew In Mission To The Heart Stars

When, in Mission To The Heart Stars (London, 1980), James Blish recounts dialogues between the energy beings called Angels in the Coal Sack nebula and elsewhere with no human observers or participants, he could have simply reverted to an omniscient narrator. Instead, he ensures that the point of view remains that not of his protagonist, Jack Loftus, but of a later human generation that is recording these historic events.

"No human being could possibly have eavesdropped on them...Only the greatest of good fortune has left us a very rough record of that discussion." (p. 71)

"And this, [Hesperus, a young Angel] tells us - and because it is he that tells us, we know it to be true - is as close a transcription of that exchange in the Coal Sack as human language can encompass..." (p. 124)

"...because it is he that tells us..." (etc) sounds like the end of John's Gospel. And religious resonances continue. Because Hesperus invokes worship of the First Cause, the First Born of the Angels cannot rule but must ask, "'Our brothers everywhere in light, what say you...?'" (p. 127)

- and a voice confirms the Star Dwellers' decision: "'This has been ruled where what is willed must be.'" (p. 127)

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