Posted by Irgend Jemand on 14:00 6/23/02
In reply to: (none)
How save is life in Verduria? I ask this because historical novels tend to show the past as a time when it was quiet common that your youngest son died of the plague, your daughter was raped by the local noble, you were whipped for keeping a bit more of your flour for yourself than you were allowed to because you would have starved else, and you could barely think you had a bad day before a bunch of invading nomads/neighbour country armies/europeans/whatever burned your crops, destroyed your house and killed you after an hour of torture. (I suppose life is still more or less like this for most people, globally seen)
Is this the everyday life of the average Verdurian? And I may be naive, but how did and do people manage it to live their life under such circumstances?
Well, stories concentrate on the dramatic. You can make 20th century life look even worse: if you're fortunate enough not to live under a Nazi or Communist dictatorship, or to be starving to death in a Third world famine, you're at the mercy of robber barons, liable at any moment to be struck down by cancer, or embittered ghetto dwellers, or serial killers, or terrorists, or AIDS.
If I may generalize, universal catastrophes are rare; most of the time, most people are able to "manage somehow, with everybody's help," as the Japanese say when being toasted.
It's not hard to get used to things when you don't know anything different. E.g. modern naturalistic descriptions of the past often emphasize how everything and everyone stank terribly. No doubt, but that would strike a modern time traveller, not the natives, who were used to it.