Oct 13, 2009

Canticle for Leibowitz

383:Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller, Jr.

I mourn the end of this book. It was that strange Hegelian feeling of wanting the end and shunning the coming parting between the book and myself. I hadn't realized how much time and effort I had spent reading and internalizing the precious agony of this book. Without a doubt this book will belong on my shelf. Next to a Latin dictionary, assuming I haven't already scribbled notes in the margin for the untranslated parts.

Quick plot summary:

Post nuclear war- knowledge destroyed, the priesthood hiding all knowledge remaining and humanity at the brink of complete anarchy. It is three parts, during the dark ages, the renascence of human ingenuity and the zenith of the following civilization. Also, random untranslated Latin which always whets my interest. I won't give plot devices away because I think this is a book to read yourself.

I always wanted to be a monk as a child, not a nun but a monk as pictured in the old novels. I wanted to glorify (not God, even as a child) in the knowledge and the preservation of it to the next generation preferably by reading. I am no Christian, although being raised Lutheran I have my own views on Christ and the "coming absolution" of humanity. I read the book as a focus of the human spirit and the divine (err.. not the best term but it is 2:30AM) qualities of our endurance and hope. This was written mid-Cold War.

One day I will draw a summary between the year a sci-fi book was written and the major themes of the novel. Even in this most imaginative genre there is little variation on a theme.

I believe this is a great random segue into the ending of this post. Next time I hope to introduce things a bit better and without the tangent at the finish.

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