I feel a deep empathy with les demoiselles Tatin as indeed I do with the Light Brigade. Were we to speak of reincarnation, after due consideration, seasoned with a lifetime’s experience of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I would plump for the former rather than the latter. Call me old fashioned, but with the choice of world renown for dropping an apple pie or having my head blown off with chain shot , the upturned pie has winner written all over it. Apparently the sisters Tatin, who ran a very busy and successful restaurant in Lamotte-Beuvron in the late 1800’s, managed during service to drop the caramelised and fondant apple tart, for which they were renowned, on its face. My choice, at that point, would be to have used the old Navajo trick of kneeling, begging and pleading to the cake gods to make it not have happened whereas the Tatin dames were made of sterner stuff. The tart was scooped, turned and returned to the oven, and then served as a brilliant new idea – hoorah. Unfortunately this is an apocryphal story, but so was the glory of the Light Brigade. Both were terrible fuck-ups that were transported by breathtaking lies into the annals of victory. Julian Barnes’ manages to define this grey land between memory and fact in the phrase ” History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation”.
I urge you to read “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes.