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Eep, got caught up with meatspace stuff, forgot about the cyberspace tasks. :p


It's weird to envision these priests in this formal, Catholic-type religion wearing these animal furs, like a shaman or something. I don't know how much choice they have in the way of garments, especially in desert regions where cotton and suchlike wouldn't grow, but still... weird mental image!

"Baronial stock from Denver"... a hint at a return to a sort of feudal system type setup, perhaps? It seems in many ways, the world has devolved back to the middle ages!

Hah, now the old man in the desert is definitely starting to take on more significance. Except that if it's actually centuries after the Flame Deluge, it obviously can't be Leibowitz... unless it's his spirit, or "sending," or whatever... and I don't know yet if this is supposed to be that type of book!

Um... strapping novices on the bare buttocks? Man, that... just... nevermind. (I imagine if it were written today, it'd be intended to mean something, but back in the 50s? I dunno!)

Yeah. Francis definitely isn't All That Bright. Maybe the Abbot should draw him some nice pictures...? I feel like I should like him (Francis that is), but I think I'd just be too aggravated if I knew him in real life, and that's getting in the way.

"I can tell you that the Reverend Father Abbot has ordered the entire novitiate to drop the subject." This is a bit odd coming just after it says that the Abbot is the type not to undermine his own authority by giving commands that can easily be disobeyed, and can't be enforced!

Okay, I'm trying to figure out what a "sport" is in this society. I thought at first it was just the old man using a colloquial term like we'd use these days, "hey sport!"... but Francis seems to be using it to mean something specific, alongside "monster-born". Hum.

Poor Francis though. Not allowed to profess his vows, just because he's too much an idiot to pick up on the Abbot's... I don't know if "subtleties" is the right word, since they're not subtle for most of us (I'd think), but seem to be too subtle for Francis!

"The White Palace"... the White House, I presume? It seems odd though that they'd know that much about it, that it's a white building, and not know the proper name. But oh well, who knows how things might become garbled.

Aaah, chapter six. I wondered if we were going to get a bit more direct backstory on the "Flame Deluge." I guess so, even if it's through the eyes of the book's present day society. Of course, not doing it through their eyes would be too much of a jarring note.

Hm, okay, at least I'm seeing a bit more reason behind the simplification I guess, although it still seems a bit weird to cut off any chance of semi-quickly regaining some sort of society and comfort. But once you've gone that long and so harshly without... At least it's more plausible.

Poor Francis.

Comments

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khedron
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
Heh. I looked it up too, and then tried to comment in response to your "there are only two options", but the comment got eaten. Stupid LJ app.

Anyway, with only three chapters in and only one Jewish character mentioned in the world so far, I can definitely see why Leibowitz himself sprang to mind. I'm kind of hoping it doesn't turn out to be him, for the reasons stormfeather gave.

and in fact forgot that Hebrew is read right to left, even.

The pilgrim did mention that! But that's actually one of the reasons I think it wouldn't make sense for the pilgrim to be Leibowitz. From that letter, Leibowitz sounds like a perfectly normal mid-20th century person, writing in standard English. Saying "still writing backwards, I see" doesn't make sense from that background. On the other hand, if you come from a time when writing R-to-L was the norm, the statement could make sense. (Or, I suppose, if there was some measurable advantage to one direction over the other, but I don't know of such, either in the book or the real world.)

I am pleased that Miller goes & explains the characters right off. If we weren't reading this in three-paragraph chunks, dropping the book to go off and find a Hebrew dictionary just wouldn't have happened, so I'm glad he doesn't make the reader wait that long.

Note to desdenova: This is where print book wins over e-book. The Kindle version of the book has a big fuzzy gif for those characters, or at least that's what I saw; something that resembles atomic microscopy, and would only be interpretable if you already knew what you were looking for. The book just had a pair of characters in a nice, clear, Hebrew font.
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stormfeather
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
I didn't think about the Wandering Jew. Then again, I'm not sure if I knew about it before you mentioned it. (I mean, that's the type of thing I should remember, whether I knew something or not... but there are so many cursed wandering types in religion, folklore, fiction, etc...)

Well okay, there's Cain and the Ancient Mariner... And sorta Schmendrick... I'm sure there are more, but they're not springing to mind as quickly. Then again it's early and the coffee hasn't had much chance to circulate yet.

*Looks at clock* okay, not THAT early, but I can't wake up for some reason.

And yeah, I guess if magic/saints/etc. are real in this story, it's totally possible it's Leibowitz, but like I mentioned I'm not sure yet if this story IS that type of story.
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khedron
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Interesting, your comment reads as though you were writing it while reading. Since we *know* Leibowitz was both a weapons designer (as you say) pre-Deluge, and was caught up in the Simplification at the end of his life.

Francis seems like an engineer or programmer to me. Whether that makes him stupid or not is another question, I suppose...
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stormfeather
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
I still don't think Francis is stupid. Too honest for his own good, maybe, and more than a bit superstitious, but not precisely stupid.

I don't know though... I mean, it'd be one thing if he picked up on the gist of what the Abbot is trying to get across and stuck to his guns anyhow, but it doesn't even seem to dawn on him.

Maybe not stupid, but overly innocent/naive?
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khedron
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm trying to figure out what a "sport" is in this society. I thought at first it was just the old man using a colloquial term like we'd use these days, "hey sport!"... but Francis seems to be using it to mean something specific, alongside "monster-born". Hum.

They're using the biological (or agricultural, if you will) definition. From dictionary.com:
Biology . an organism or part that shows an unusual or singular deviation from the normal or parent type; mutation.
stormfeather
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
Huh! I had no idea that was an actual cromulent biological term.

So I guess a sport is someone with some mutations, while monster-born would be the especially grotesque/hideous ones?
khedron
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Huh! I had no idea that was an actual cromulent biological term.

:-)

So I guess a sport is someone with some mutations, while monster-born would be the especially grotesque/hideous ones?

That's what I think, too. A matter of degree, not kind.

And, heh, I was going to go back & edit my note above, but you beat me to it. I was just going to say that I mentioned agriculture forestall any questions of, "wait, they don't know who the President was, but they know biology terms?" :-) This sense of "sport" is something that most gardeners & farmers would know, so it's important today -- and much more important in Canticle's world, I'd imagine.
stormfeather
Sep. 6th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
I hadn't thought about that objection, but yeah, it makes sense. :p
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