Questions tagged [the-once-and-future-king]

The Once and Future King is a 1958 fix-up fantasy novel by T. H. White, about the life of the legendary King Arthur, heavily influenced by Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. The first part of the series, The Sword in the Stone (the basis for the Disney animated film of the same name), is still published in its standalone 1938 form, which was trimmed down for the 1958 fix-up. The novel introduced the idea of the wizard Merlyn living backwards in time.

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Was the backward-running time stream of the cacogens intended as an allusion to T. H. White's Merlyn?

The climax of The Sword of the Lictor (and, in many ways, the climax of the entire Book of the New Sun) comes in two parts. There is the battle at Baldanders castle, then the meeting with the ...
Buzz's user avatar
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Is Merlyn’s experience of time ever developed in T. H. White’s stories?

Ever since I’ve encountered XKCD 270, over a decade ago, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of T. H. White’s Merlyn. I’ve now started reading The Once and Future King, and it occurred to me that Merlyn’...
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How does T. H. White's Merlyn experience time?

In The Once and Future King it is clear that Merlyn was "born backwards in time", but I cannot determine exactly what that means. In The Sword in the Stone, chapter three, Merlyn says: “Now ...
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What's with all the anachronism?

In The Once and Future King, there are a lot of anachronistic references. In fact, Merlyn sometimes expressly points out that some things are anachronistic. Why did T.H White include all these odd ...
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What's the significance of the animal transformations in The Once and Future King?

In T.H. White's The Once and Future King, Wart gets turned into a few different animals (a fish and a bird are the ones I remember). I never remember there being a real point to this (other than his ...
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