Blessed be thee Saint Leibowitz

I have, just now, finished reading A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. and, I must say, it is a fantastic read. The occasional use of Latin and Hebrew caused the book, at times, to fly over my head but I believe that may well have been the point.

The book is a story in three parts of a Catholic abbey established in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. This particular abbey has been charged by its founder, one Brother I. E. Leibowitz, with accumulating and preserving human knowledge. Much as the Irish monks during our last dark ages, these monks are the shepherds of knowledge in the next dark age.

In spite of being in the future, the book constantly feels as though it is in the past, and it provides me with a sympathy and fondness for Catholicism that I have not felt before. While I still cannot abide the dogma of the great Catholic empire, I must admit that they do serve us all by preserving knowledge, at times.

One quote, from the latter portion of the novel, tickled my fancy a great deal:

They managed only to demonstrate that the mathematical limit of an infinite sequence of "doubting the certainty with which something doubted is known to be unknowable when the 'something doubted' is still a preceding statement of 'unknowability' of something doubted," that the limit of this process at infinity can only be equivalent to a statement of absolute certainty, even though phrased as an infinite series of negations of certainty

—A Canticle For Leibowitz (pp. 301-302)

The quote is not particularly representative but, to be honest, I feel that it would be hard to find any quote that would be properly representative of this book.

A Canticle For Leibowitz is a wonderful read; one of few, recently, that has succeeded in keeping my attention from start to finish, and I highly recommend it.