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It was an interesting book but it is very, very dated. Tom Send a noteboard - 18/05/2010 09:46:50 PM
You can tell the book was written in the late 1950s or early 1960s because first of all, it capitalizes on the paranoia of mutually assured destruction in a way that later generations never were able to. It comes out at the same time as the movies Fail-safe and Dr. Strangelove, on the heels of the panic that Sputnik caused.

Second, however, and more important from my own personal perspective, is that it shows a religious world that has already been dismantled so thoroughly that it is almost impossible to re-establish it. In the 1950s, before Vatican II, the Catholic Church was a powerful institution unified by a single liturgical language - Latin. Latin was taught in the myriad of Catholic schools that existed in every country, and the Church's influence in many places was considerable. As a result, had a nuclear war taken place in, say, 1959 or even as late as 1962, when the Cuban Missile Crisis took place (The Second Vatican Council would not open until shortly after the end of the crisis), Catholics around the world could rely on the institution of the Church and the unity of language in expressing themselves. Monasteries in many countries were thriving and could resume the functions that they had performed in the Middle Ages (assuming they were located in places that survived the nuclear blasts).

However, Vatican II saw the end of the Latin mass, and with it, slowly, the end of the teaching of Latin in Catholic schools. Many monasteries were closed, and nuns in particular saw a major loss of function and status.

A Canticle for Liebowitz presumes that this whole Catholic superstructure remained in place and survived. I suspect that, if my daughter decides to read the book when she is older, she will find it even less plausible than I did when I read it a few years ago (at Aeryn's recommendation, for the record).
Political correctness is the pettiest form of casuistry.

ἡ δὲ κἀκ τριῶν τρυπημάτων ἐργαζομένη ἐνεκάλει τῇ φύσει, δυσφορουμένη, ὅτι δὴ μὴ καὶ τοὺς τιτθοὺς αὐτῇ εὐρύτερον ἢ νῦν εἰσι τρυπώη, ὅπως καὶ ἄλλην ἐνταῦθα μίξιν ἐπιτεχνᾶσθαι δυνατὴ εἴη. – Procopius

Ummaka qinnassa nīk!

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A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. - 18/05/2010 02:35:02 PM 5323 Views
Why was there a sequel? - 18/05/2010 09:38:57 PM 1372 Views
Miller had been working on it for a while and asked for assistance. - 18/05/2010 11:39:49 PM 1481 Views
It was an interesting book but it is very, very dated. - 18/05/2010 09:46:50 PM 1397 Views
I don't see how this invalidates the book. - 18/05/2010 11:57:24 PM 1310 Views
I think you misunderstand. - 19/05/2010 12:28:42 AM 1356 Views
I agree. - 19/05/2010 09:40:07 AM 1342 Views
I haven't read it yet - 19/05/2010 11:26:23 AM 1403 Views
We have a copy, should you wish to borrow it. *NM* - 19/05/2010 11:30:16 AM 680 Views
I might - 19/05/2010 11:55:04 AM 1314 Views
This is a very good book. - 19/05/2010 03:04:31 PM 1418 Views

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