Monday, July 04, 2011

The 17th Century

In this interview, novelist Neal Stephenson touches on a peculiar aspect of the age of Milton and Newton:
The medieval is still very much alive and well during this period. People are carrying swords around. Military units have archers. Saracens snatch people from European beaches and carry them off to slavery. There are Alchemists and Cabalists. Great countries are ruled by kings who ride into battle wearing armor. Much of the human landscape--the cities and architecture--are medieval. And yet the modern world is present right next to all of this in the form of calculus, joint-stock companies, international financial systems, etc. This can't but be fascinating to a novelist. Complete interview here.

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