A Canticle for Leibowitz

3.8
inner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best ovel and widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction, Walter M. Miller, Jr. 's A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature—a chilling and still provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.

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 dedicated to the comparativ and preservation of the treasure and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing 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 mistakes. Seriously funny, heartbreaking, and tragedy, eternally fresh, exciting, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.
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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published May 9th 2006 by HarperCollins EOS (first published October 1959
Original Title of the Book
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Number of Pages
334

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gave it

Miller Jr.A Canticle for Leibowitz is a bona fide sci-fi classic, you 'd be hard pressed to find a list of “ all-time great sci-fi novels ” without it.

This ook is as non-YA as you can get.The novel is made up of three nterconnected novellas, each one set 600 years apart.1.

“ Fiat Homo ” ( Let There Be Man) This first part of A Canticle for Leibowitz is set in America 600 years after a global nuclear apocalypse.

A dashin young monk Brother Francis meets a mysterious “ pilgrim with girded loins ” who leads him to discovery of an underground fallout shelter container documents and memos from the 21st century, some of these were ostensibly written by Isaac Edward Leibowitz, the cofounder of the monastic “ Albertian Order of Leibowitz ” to which Brother Francis belongs.

Now civilization is back in full swing, the level of tech is actually more advanced than the previous pre-apocalypse one; humanity has achieved interstellar travel by this time.

Charmingly " on the nose " book cover.All three parts feature a different protagonist ( as they are 600 years apart).

Certainly the Albertian Order of Leibowitz is the single monastery that ensures the survival of human understandin, and even humanity itself.There is plenty of ood for thought in A Canticle for Leibowitz, while the nove is written from a Catholic viewpoint the book is not about Catholicism and Miller leaves many issues for the eaders to decide for themselves.

Shapiro offers organized religion as a beacon of hope in dark times but he does not seem to demand that the readers accept this.

For Man was a culture-bearer as well as a soul-bearer, but his cultures were not immortal and they could die with a race or an age, and then human reflections of meaning and human portrayals of truth receded, and ruth and meaning resided, unseen, only in the objective logos of Nature and the ineffable Logos of God. Truth could be crucified; but soon, perhaps, a resurrection. ” ___________________________NoteThere are quite a few Latin passages in this ook.

gave it

I 'm not a Christian, but I live in a Christian society, and it 's all around me.

They 're doing something important, even though they do n't know what it is, and it makes their lives deep and meaningful.

It 's a beautiful ook, that will leave you feeling better about people.

gave it

A Canticle for Leibowitz is counted among the classic works of science fiction, the only boo by author Walter M.

Miller, Jr. injects a bit of humor throughout his ook, most notably when young Francis is out in the desert and encounters an old woma and then accidentally discovers a 1950s style Fallout Shelter that Leibowitz used.

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 an that might have been a vision of Leibowitz, he 's on the receiving end of repeated whacks from the abbot 's stick.

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 instance, 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 ocking, condescending tone, giving little doubt that asking questions and probing into nature is to be shunned.

Benjamin Remember that old man Francis encountered?

What could the abbot and monks learn from old Benjamin?

Miller Jr., A Canticle for LeibowitzAmerican science fiction writer Walter M.

gave it

It ’ s central character is the Order of Saint Leibowitz that survives after the nuclear holocaust ( the Flame Deluge), and the story spans over a thousand years as humanity seems determined to repeat its mistakes and destroy itself over and over, with the assis of science and technology, while this small group of monks strives to preserve ancient knowledge amid the collapse of civilization.Many readers consider this book a powerful cautionary tale warning against nuclear conflict and the angers of science.

The third part of the books, “ Fiat Homo ” ( Let There Be Man), is the best in my opinion, the retellin of the small abbey in the American Southwest desert dedicated to Isaac Leibowitz, an engineer who secretly preserved books and knowledge and was martyred in the backlash against science following the Flame Deluge.

The ending of this tory is both tragic and ironic.The second part “ Fiat Lux ” ( Let There Be Light) takes place over five centuries later, as the Albertian Order of Saint Leibowitz continues to preserve the various pre-Deluge documents, although they are poorly understood.

In the 7th century, humanit is just starting to rediscover scientific knowledge, and the tory revolves around Thon Taddeo, a secular scholar who is intensely interested in the relics and other knowledge preserved by the abbey of St. Leibowitz.

The clash in attitudes between the knowledge-hungry Taddeo and the innocent scientific experiments of the monks forms the main part of the arrative, but the remainder features all the political cheming of Hannegan to dominate the surrounding city-states by playing them against each other.

A Canticle of Leibowitz certainly is a skillful depiction of the cyclical nature of history, as humanity grows in knowledge and technology, only to overreach itself and destroy what has been so carefully built up.

It ’ s ridiculou that the book lovingly describes the noble efforts of these selfless monks to preserve civilization for millenia, but is that the role played by the Cathedra in Europe over the last dozen centuries?

The various monks in Canticle are depicted in a very sympathetic light, while secular governments and politicians are shown as power-hungry and destined to bring mankind to destruction amid nuclear holocaust.

The uthor seems to have a very dull and despairing view of mankind ’ s nability to avoid destroying itself, which was a very topical subject when it was written during the Cold War, but grafting on this story of Catholic monks valiantly protecting the flame of knowledge in a post-apocalyptic future just didn ’ t work for me at all.

Neal Stephenson ’ s Anathem is also a very different take on this, with learned monks surviving many millennia into the future preserving knowledge, but with the wist of mostly being dedicated to science and mathematics rather than religion.

That could easily become a doctoral thesis, no? Does anyone out there really expect the current religions of the world to lead mankind to greater peace and prosperity in the coming centuries and millennia?

gave it

A centuries old story following the evolving world after an apocalypse and centered on the monks of St. Leibowitz, somewhere in the American nort.

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