I promise I’ll get round to a longer blog entry over the weekend, but I couldn’t resist commenting briefly on this paragraph from Peter Bradshaw’s review of The Time Traveler’s Wife.
It is very silly and of course cannot submit to close inspection. Making brief visits to an unalterable past is one thing, but how about that pesky butterfly effect? Why doesn’t he recognise Clare on their first meeting in the “present” – and why can’t he “remember” his future
journeys into the past?
Now I know that I’ve spent longer than most people either reading or watching stories about time travel. But I can’t believe that anyone seriously doesn’t know the answers to those questions. Why doesn’t Henry recognise Clare when they first meet in the present? Because those meetings haven’t yet taken place for him. Why can’t he remember his future journeys into the past? The big clue is in the word “future”.
Without understanding that, you’re missing the fundamental paradox in the plot of the Time Traveler’s Wife. If you really find it that confusing, I can understand why you would only give it two stars.
Do many people find basic time travel concepts like this hard to follow?