29 February 2008

29 Feb

This free day reminds me of the infamous 11 missing days from Pynchon's Mason & Dixon (OK, he didn't invent the 11missingdays but he put his own little twist on it). During the Julian-to-Gregorian switch in England, September 2nd 1752 was followed by September 14th. During this period, one of the novel's characters got lost alone in some alternate dimension England, waiting to catch up to the rest of the England that had already jumped ahead.

Oddly, the calendar switch happened across a wide span of time throughout the world. It's amazing history books get any dates right.

With 29 Feb, instead of losing time (something many of 1700s England railed against, superstitiously) all of us have this added day scrunched in between our days. I'm not sure how Pynchon would dramatize this. I can understand the filling-in-of the missing time with a cold, missing space, but how would you represent the freeby that comes with the leap year?

[ posted by sstrader on 29 February 2008 at 5:21:13 PM in Language & Literature ]