Mine involves Shakespeare, which I don’t understand. I don’t have any special reverence for Shakespeare - all I know about him is what I was forced to learn in high school. Yet I often catch myself thinking things like “see, Shakespeare, we’ve built highways to make long distance car travel quicker and safer. And the simple exit system works like this…”
I’ve finally seen this referenced by a third person in this recent Tom the Dancing Bug strip, but nowhere else. Does this happen to anyone else?
My daughter, MilliCal, loves this. In fact, it’s a game she insists we play all the time – I get to be the historical figure, anmd she shows me around the house and tries to explain it all to me.
It keeps you on your toes – I have to remember whebn this person lived and what they’d be likely to know. Teaches MilliCal about history, too. She’s been taken by surprise quite a few times by things she thought everybody would know, but didn’t.
I’ve done it both ways. The fellow who comes to present times for me is Julius Ceasar (with a small band of legionnaires - maybe five). Don’t ask me why. Given the amount of daydreaming I do, it’s an infinite number of monkeys situation.
Oddly, this one usually happens while I’m driving and he’s impressed with the highways. And the planes or trains, if there are any in sight. Anyone else point out the highways?
Now and then, usually in the context of “I wonder what Ben Franklin’s reaction to X would be?”. It’s most often one of the founding fathers, probably because I like to think that they earned the right to see what has become of what they started.
Yeah, I’ve had that fantasy about Thomas Jefferson occasionally (mostly back when I was in college – I don’t think I’ve thought about it in years). Nice to know I’m not the only one!
Incidentally, I’ve spent most of my adult life studying Shakespeare, and I’ve never had this fantasy about Shakespeare. I have no special interest in Jefferson apart from sharing an alma mater with him. Go figure.
I think about historical artists and musician/composers - I think about how I would explain to Mozart how we got from his music to the state of music today, with innovative music composed on the instruments he is familiar but sounding nothing like from his age (e.g., 12-tone, minimalist stuff like Philip Glass, etc) let alone jazz, blues, rock and world music.
It would have to involve a lot of discussion of macro issues - the increasing size of the middle class, the Industrial Revolution reducing the cost of mass produced items, scientific innovations like electricity, etc…
I guess I am assuming that Mozart would not take to Miles Davis or Jimi Hendrix, say, initially, but if provided a broader context that helps him connect the dots from his world to ours, he may become more open-minded…
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of bringing Thomas Edison to the present, to show him what his inventions have wrought. I gather he’d be able to follow the path from squiggles in a wax cylinder to pits on a CD. But I wonder what he’d make of data storage in particles of light, and of computers in general, and how so many people own at least one.
I think this is a very cool idea, and I do occasionally wonder how one of the great old writers, or composers, or whatever, would react to the newer contributions to their genre, and/or to their own continued popularity.
Anybody know of any examples of this sort of thing in fiction? I vaguely recall seeing an episode of Bewitched in which George Washington gets brought to present-day America. And then there’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
As a mechanical engineer that works in aerospace and who’s biggest hobby is aviation, I’ve often thought about going back in time and talking to the Wright brothers when they were working on their first plane. I’d give them some pointers and tell them the things that were horibbly wrong with their first design. Of course that would probably screw up the space/time continuum, but it would be cool.
I’ve also thought about bringing them to the future so they could see how far aviation has come.
You’re thinking of Beethoven. His other favorite works included Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem.
I’m also in the Mozart camp, just to hear what music he could compose given access to all of modern musical styles and technologies.
I agree it is weird, but neat, other people do this.
I always escort Davy Crockett around, I have no idea why. I don’t have any particular interest in Davy Crockett. Perhaps it is because he’s known as a frontiersman, and I might associate that with being the kind of personality who would be avidly interested in new things and new opportunities. Or maybe I just like the hat, who knows?
Mine tend to involve Victorian novelists, especially the Bronte sisters. Sometimes I have a fantasy “house party” with a group of them.
I don’t know why novelists in particular, except that I know more about them, the details of their lives and personalities, than I do about the average Victorian. But why would I want to be explaining modern technology and social situations to Victorians? `Tis a mystery.