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Walter M. Miller Jr. µ 2 Characters A Canticle for Leibowitz Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ed to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz From here the story spans centuries of ignorance violence and barbarism view. Captivating post apocalyptic tale set in the Southwestern United States centuries following massive nuclear war that plunged the civilized world into a new dark age comparable to Europe s Early Middle Ages where nearly the entire population is illiterate and scattered in rustic tribes And similar to those chaotic medieval years Christian monks keep the flame of learning alive by copying and memorizing the contents of books A Canticle for Leibowitz is counted among the classic works of science fiction the only novel by author Walter M Miller Jr to be published during his lifetime a decidedly philosophical tale well worth the read So as not to reveal too much respecting plot I ll make a reviewer s sideways shuffle and highlight a number of themes and topics I found especially provocative The SimplificationFollowing worldwide nuclear war the Flame Deluge where cities were reduced to puddles of glass following the fallout and plagues there arose The Simplification where the mass of survivors held educated persons responsible for the catastrophe and formed into simpleton packs that would burn books and kill anyone who was literate Such action reminded me of the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia as well as what the boy and his papa encountered in Cormac McCarthy s The Road Books and LearningA certain group of monks honor the memory of Isaac Leibowitz who was martyred for his safeguarding scientific knowledge in the era of all those simpletons honor him by becoming bookleggers smuggling books into their monastery or memorizers committing to rote memory entire volumes of history sacred texts literature and science In this way I recall those women and men who committed great works of literature to memory in Ray Bradbury s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 Comedy of ErrorsWalter M Miller Jr injects a bit of humor throughout his book most notably when young Francis is out in the desert and encounters an old man and then accidentally discovers a 1950s style Fallout Shelter that Leibowitz used Leibowitz s memos racing form grocery list and blueprint are taken for important even sacred documents which just goes to show how low the level of insight and understanding dipped down in these dark futuristic times Physical BeatingsWhen Francis reports to his abbot following the hubbub he created over his discovery of those documents in the Fallout Shelter and his encountering an old man that might have been a vision of Leibowitz he s on the receiving end of repeated whacks from the abbot s stick Such cruelty and stupidity Does this monastery really count for the light of learning in the age of darkness I was wondering if author Walter M Miller Jr was making a statement about the human tendency even within a spiritual community for violence and inflicting pain MutantsAt the time Miller wrote his novel the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made a powerful impression on the national psyche and there was a general horror at the prospect of genetic deformities resulting from nuclear fallout In one of his 1950s novels Philip K Dick details a carnival sideshow of such human monstrosities with feathers scales tails wings or without eyes or faces Likewise journeying to New Rome Francis passes The Valley of the Misborn a leperlike colony peopled by warped and crawling things that sought refuge from the worldCulture and RenaissanceThe second section of Canticle takes place some five hundred years after the time of Francis One of the monks rediscovers electricity But this Catholic monastery is hardly Castalia from Hermann Hesse s The Glass Bead Game there remains a raging conflict of religion versus science for example one old monk claims such scientific experimentation and discoveries should be avoided as the work of the Devil At another point this same old monk regales a visiting scientific scholar as Sir Philosopher in a mocking condescending tone giving little doubt that asking uestions and probing into nature is to be shunned ShamanismThere s a seuence out among one of the rustic tribes where the leader one Mad Bear relates that insanity is prized by his shaman as the most intense of supernatural visitations Not unlike most writers back in the 1950s unless they were cultural anthropologists author Miller s ideas surrounding shamanism is little than a cartoon image Too bad such traditions were unappreciated by the tale s futuristic monks and scientists they might have learned something Benjamin Remember that old man Francis encountered He s still around Hundreds of years later old Benjamin the Jew is still living out in the desert as a hermit Has the old man transcended the boundaries of individuality and becomes all of Israel What could the abbot and monks learn from old Benjamin Would they even listen The PoetOne of the intriguing parts of the novel is the inclusion of a surly poet staying at the monastery who can remove one of his eyes There s a long standing joke among the monks that the removal of the poet s eye signifies what it means to remove one s inner conscience Cycle of Destruction The novel s third part is some six hundred years further into the future There are nuclear weapons capable of ending human life on earth Although there are also some other technological advances offering escape to some degree the sense is Miller is making observations about the cyclical nature of creation and destruction in our all too human experience To discover details I encourage you to read this classic for yourself To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar But then they became the only ends somehow and the only basis of law a perversion Inevitably then in seeking only them we found only their opposites maximum suffering and minimum security Walter M Miller Jr A Canticle for LeibowitzAmerican science fiction writer Walter M Miller Jr 1923 1996 was a tail gunner flying than 50 bombing missions over Italy during World War II one mission the bombing and destruction of the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino a traumatic experience for the author
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Walter M. Miller Jr. µ 2 Characters A Canticle for Leibowitz Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ing through a sharp satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistak. Walter Miller s A Canticle for Leibowitz is imaginative and thought provoking I enjoyed reading it and enjoyed it even during a second go While this work has very little in common with Isaac Asimov s Foundation Series in terms of setting or character or even plot I kept being reminded of Asimov s classic Miller presents a primitive post apocalyptic world in which knowledge has been stowed away in a monastery in what used to be Utah This monastery might not be the far end of the universe but in the context of the three interconnected stories which form Canticle it may as well be This is a time at least in the first tale in which the earlier era of learning and much of the knowledge of the war itself is lost Gaining understanding from this storehouse is no easy feat Despite a number of centuries separating each of the three stories Miller links the stories and advancements in learning in an interesting way this in turn pushes the narrative forward in a sort of cyclical history What Miller is suggesting by this repeated history is both disturbing and ambiguous however the increasingly dark humor he attaches to the narrative somehow also makes it uite entertaining 45 StarsRead & download Å PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free µ Walter M. Miller Jr.
Walter M. Miller Jr. µ 2 Characters A Canticle for Leibowitz Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicat. Odd as it sounds this is hot toddy warm blanket comfort food for me Admittedly that s not the typical description of this cynical bleak themed post apocalyptic SF classic However the easy breezy style with which Miller explores his melancholy material manages to pluck smiles from me whenever I pick it up This go around I listened to the audio version which was recently released it was as mood brightening an experience as my previous read throughDespite dealing with dark somber subject matter and ultimately ending on a tragic crescendo of humanity is stupid savage and screwed the journey of the novel is so filled with engaging characters and genuine humor that the surrounding depression and moroseness of the narrative theme just can t seem to grab hold of you At least it never laid an accusing finger on me Canticle is broken up into 3 Sections each taking place approximately 6 centuries apart Beginning in the 26th century 600 years after the Flame Deluge when nuclear buffoonery laid waste to civilization the central focus of the story is a Roman Catholic monastery founded by a Jewish weapons engineer for the purpose of safeguarding and preserving human knowledge Shortly after the geniuses of the 20th Century decided to light up the globe like Hell s own 4th of July the surviving residents of Planet radiation burn decided that brains and books were overrated and followed up the Flame Deluge with the Simplification whereby they roasted all of the books along with any person smart enough to read or write one Isaac Leibowitz after being part of the military machinery that microwaved the planet made it his mission in life to try and preserve knowledge for the future Thus the Albertian Order of Leibowitz was founded The first third of the book introduces us to the post apocalyptic world and gives a back story on the Flame Deluge and the mission of the Order of Leibowitz Located in what was the Southwestern United States the Order tracks down and smuggles 20th century memorabilia into the abbey a process known as booklegging while trying to avoid being killed and possibly eaten by the self described Simpletons roaming the wastelands The next section of the book takes place in the 32nd Century and shows humanity finally emerging out of the dark ages of the Simplification and beginning to once again embrace the knowledge This section focuses primarily on the growing feud between the resurgent secular scientists and the Church over the control and distribution of technology Similar to our own renaissance period the story describes science and natural law going toe to toe with the info hoarding monks as powerful city states run by warlords play both sides for advantage Finally in the 38th Century the last section of the book shows humanity once again in the full flower of its technological brilliance and historical stupidity ready to give the Earth another nuclear facial NoteI was going to use atomic facial but the Urban Dictionary makes that term very inappropriate here War is coming and the forces of history are once again driving humanity like cattle towards the abattoir Thus we see the overarching theme of Miller s masterpiece the cyclical nature of history Miller s moral as a species we are too stupid not to truly learn from our past blunders and are doomed to continue to screw the pooch and the planet with our giant atomic phalluses I know not exactly a cheery pump it up pep talk However the tone and the narrative style are anything but dreary Miller does a wonderful job creating a world that is large and mysterious and yet instantly recognizable and relatable His characters are flawed genuine and mostly decent and live through their times with a sense of purpose and optimism that belies the smothering embrace of history as it sueezes events into an all too familiar pattern Miller s ability to write brightly of such bleakness is truly extraordinary The story is dark fatalistic and filled with pessimism yet the prose is light hopeful and filled with optimism The word bitter never comes to mind In addition to the overriding theme of history s wheel like pattern Miller touches on other serious issues such as euthanasia and the right to life the place of art in society and the nature of war itself This is a towering science fiction work but Miller s messages are deftly delivered behind a humorous engaging future history In sum this book is a light touch of morale outrage It s a cozy warning of man s stupidity It s a warm comforting blankie for our inner cynic to snuggle with while we wait for the shoeanvil to drop Enjoy 50 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Winner Hugo Award Best Science Fiction Novel 1961
- A Canticle for Leibowitz
- Walter M. Miller Jr.
- 24 August 2020