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Hrm, this time I've actually read the section separately rather than commenting as I read, which I have been doing for most of the book, so my pardon if it reads differently or I miss anything.

I like how they just gloss over the whole Texarkana invasion of Laredo, with "well, it was assumed that it was over before it began."

I gotta wish the Thon were actually the one in charge instead of the current Prince, since at least he wouldn't have the thirst for war. Both he and the Abbot, later on, have some good points I think. It's not really fair to accuse the Abbot of hiding away the Memorabilia, when hiding it away was the only thing that kept it extant in the first place. Really I'm more with the Abbot in that argument, surprisingly (given my thoughts on religion vs. science), but at the same time it can't be expected that the scientists would just tie their own hands and Give Up. Given the lessons of the Flame Deluge in this society though, they should at least learn some damn caution.

Anyone else think that toward the end, Hannegan's decree starts to smack of "I'm SO not excommunicated (or whatever it was exactly), YOU are! Neener neener, so there!"?

I'm not exactly sure what the experiment with the lamp and the sheets of glass and so on was supposed to be. A primitive sort of laser, maybe?

I also wonder just what that snippet re: a slave race was from, or if it was meant to be from anything in particular.

I do feel bad about Marcus Apollo, damnit. And the Abbot. I rather liked both of them, and I thought the Abbot was rather shrewd, even if hampered by his physical deterioration. Much better than the previous Abbot we'd met.

And we get another damn 600-year time jump, yeesh. I thought maybe we'd settled down in one time frame for a bit, but I guess we had to see the new medieval era, than the new Renaissance, so now.... a new modern age, perhaps? Although with the crib notes, so to speak, and the progress they'd already made I'm a bit surprised it would take them that long.

And given the way both of the previous parts ended (Francis' death and the Poet's death, and devouring by buzzards), I'm a bit wary of how the third one might end. With the death of all humanity, perhaps?

Also a bit surprised for some reason that we didn't see Benjamin in the last chapter of this part again, but oh well.

Remainder of the schedule


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Sep. 19th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Thon was definitely jumping on the "oh, it's not OUR FAULT because we were an inferior slave race rising up against our oppressors, THEY'RE the bad guys that wiped everything out!" thought waaaay too quick there. Personally, I don't *like* the thought of being descended from some sort of inferior slave race, but that's maybe just me. :p

And I'd still like to see how the Thon squares his ideas of that, and the earlier-espoused one of how the previous civilization had to be somehow actively superior to their current one by pointing out that donkey-leading peasant, with the strides he and his fellow scien... I mean thons are making in the re-nascent sciences. I guess he's just That Special?

And finally, in the department of reading too much into things: Six centuries, six centuries, six more centuries.

Hah! Cute, but I think it was more like eight centuries, then four? Or so?
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 20th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Ah hah, yes, you are correct. I'd gone back to look at one of my previous posts, but not far enough. I'd originally thought someone mentioned the first part as being eight centuries after the present day, and saw that, but later in the chapter yes it did pinpoint the first part as being 26th century.

So yes, six centuries, six centuries, six centuries. Ew. Which is just also a little shorter than the time from the purported birth of Christ to the actual present day. Or close to it, if you go by the "present day" when the book was actually written. Wonder if he's going for a cyclical thing?
Sep. 20th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
I'm not commenting on most of this, because as with most of the Parasha readings I just kinda read the whole book and not the appropriate sections, but....

In searching for all the Latin translations, I also came across a bit of biography on Walter Miller that is probably very relevant throughout. During WWII, he flew bomber missions. Apparently he was involved in the missions that destroyed the Abbey of Monte Cassino, the oldest monastery in Europe, founded by St Benedict and where he introduced his rules for monastic living that many of us had to read in Western Civ; this bombing was a very influential event in Miller's life. The Wikipedia article on Monte Cassino is quite interesting. The justification for the bombing raids was that Germans were using the monastery; they turned out to have agreed with the monks not to, but after the bombs had destroyed it the Germans took over the ruins and turned it into a fortress. This seems relevant to many of the conversations regarding the military use of the Leibowitz abbey in these last few chapters.

After the war, Miller converted to Catholicism. And tried to study for an engineering degree. Not that I am implying St. Leibowitz may be an authorial stand-in or anything.
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