Origins, History, and Change in Gardam's Crusoe's Daughter

Added by George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

"It is usually just fancy when you say that someone 'changed from that moment'. When a change starts is a matter for the angels, and even they may disagree. Historians can never be certain of anything. Dates as we know are meaningless. The Great War 'began' in 1914 and the world 'changed'. But when did the change really begin? With a student who by chance was sitting down in a café when the Archduke's carriage turned down a sidestreet by mistake?

Long, long before.

And so with people. Often the intention is definable -- the moment when we say, 'From now on I shall do this, do that.' But the change itself proceeds waveringly -- and of course often does not proceed at all.

But changes -- huge changes -- do take place, and in spite of the libraries of Freudian evidence to the contrary, the deep stamp of past years and even of dreams can be eradicated, washed away, and new people can emerge: and it will be a sad day for novels when this is not so" [54].

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