March 3rd Question

I have started to reread the Recluce series and also recently revisited The Lessons of History by Will and Ann Durant, a concise synthesis of their broader work in “The Story of Civilization.” The Durants’ exploration of historical cycles, the interplay of moral and ethical considerations, and the forces of progress and decline resonated with me, particularly in light of the themes you explore in the Recluce series. This parallel has sparked my curiosity about your own historical and philosophical influences. Could you share whether the works of Will and Ann Durant have played any role in shaping the ideas or themes within the Recluce series? I am interested in understanding how historical narratives and philosophical explorations might influence the creation of fantasy worlds that, while entirely fictional, echo with the weight of real human history and ethical dilemmas. Thank you for your time and for the worlds you’ve created — not just within the Recluce series — that have so deeply enriched my reading experiences and thinking.

While I’ve certainly heard of the Durants, I have to confess that I haven’t read any of their works. I have read history widely, particularly ancient history, beginning when I was quite young, and I continue to do so, although these days I peruse periodicals such as History Today and World Archaeology rather than larger tomes. On the more philosophical side, I’ve also read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and Edward Wilson’s The Meaning of Human Existence and who knows how many others.

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