Friday, August 16, 2013


Quotable: You Are a Soul

"... When mass murder's been answered with mass murder, rape with rape, hate with hate, there's no longer much meaning in asking whose ax is bloodier. Evil, on evil, piled on evil. Was there any justification in our 'police action' ...? Certainly there was no justification for what they did―or was there? We only know what that thing [a radio or television--VFPD] says, and that thing is a captive. The Asian radio has to say what will least displease it's government; ours has to say what will least displease our fine patriotic opinionated rabble, which is what, coincidentally, the government wants it to say anyhow, so where's the difference?"  (p. 281)

"You don't have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily." (p. 295)

"To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law—a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security." (p. 330)

Source: Character of Abbot Jethras Zerchi in A Canticle for Leibowitz (Bantam Books, 1959, 2007) by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

See also: "A Canticle for Leibowitz Is Divine, But It's the Opposite of Science Fiction" by Josh Wimmer on io9

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