online great books

#82- A Landmark of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction: Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz

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This week, Scott and Karl discuss A Canticle for Leibowitz, the post-apocalyptic science fiction classic by Walter M. Miller Jr., first published in 1959.

Scott says, “It’s a story about how fragile civilization is, how fragile knowledge is, and what people’s responsibility to that may or may not be.”

As the plot goes, the monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz work to preserve the surviving remnants of man’s scientific knowledge until the world is again ready for it after a devastating nuclear war.

Divided into three parts, the book spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself, harboring themes on the cyclical nature of technological progress and regress.

The separate novellas share a nostalgia for things that have been lost. “Post-Megawar stories are about an afterlife,” Miller writes, “Survivors don’t really live in such a world; they haunt it.”

Tune in to hear more about this timeless story in a mythic dimension, brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.

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