July 9/365 Quintessence of Dust

I couldn’t write about this book yesterday. And this morning, still nothing doing.

Perhaps it was because this is a book of sadness, of loss, of repeating stupidity and rebirth. And it reckons well with the current tides, making me shiver inside.

canticleWill humanity ever destroy itself with nuclear weapons? A few years ago, I would have argued that we had looked that demon in the eye and learned something. We hadn’t. I still feel that it’s far more likely that we’ll just render the world unlivable, or that the biosphere will smack us down with a precise virus percolating from the destroyed heart of a rain forest, an Ebola, only faster with better targeting. But can you imagine the desolate opera of humanity self-destructing, rebuilding from nothing, self-destructing, rebuilding, ad nauseam? Why would anyone endure that story?

And yet I’ve read A Canticle for Leibowitz several times through. Maybe I’m hoping that there will be another ending, or that I’ll finally understand if the pattern has been broken (leaving the Earth for mutant beings, who are strangely beautiful) or if the pattern has just shifted into outer space, where humanity will continue fucking up everything over and over again.

4 thoughts on “July 9/365 Quintessence of Dust

  1. I am fascinated by the idea of cyclic destruction and rebuilding of humanity. Another for my list. (I think we’ll go down this time to an airborne rabies virus. We’ll see, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

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