The Garden of Forking Paths
How we cite our quotes:
"I leave to various future times, but not to all, my garden of forking paths." (42)
This phrase – the key to understanding Ts'ui Pen's novel – is so significant that it actually occurs twice in the story.
"Differing from Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not think of time as absolute and uniform. He believed it an infinite series of times, in a dizzily growing, ever spreading network of diverging, converging and parallel times." (57)
Who else do we know who debated Newton's conception of time as absolute and uniform? Oh yeah, Einstein. It's easy to see why this story sparked the imagination of more than one quantum physicist.
"This web of time – the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries – embraces every possibility. We do not exist in most of them. In some you exist and not I, while in others I do, and you do not." (57)
Dr. Albert really spells it out for Yu Tsun in this quote. The web of time is so infinite that we don't even exist in most of them.