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Gurglings of a Putrid Stream

Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.

See also:  http://goppf.wikidot.com/swstart

My name:  Brian Martin

Plucked From the Fire

I'm lifting this post from a Sherlock Lestat comment in which he stated that if he could save only one book from destruction, it would be 1984.

What book would you save?

After pondering this for awhile, I thought of two books -- Solaris by Stanislaw Lem and Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I considered Solaris simply because it has such a strange effect on me, but then decided it was too short. That left me with Moby Dick. (I like to say that it's pointless for anyone to try to write "the great American novel" because it's already been written, by Melville.) And it's quite long. Lot of meat there, and ironically very little blubber.

Now it's a few days later, and I'm still pondering. I think I'd go with Melville if it was a personal thing -- if I was just saving the book for myself (more of a "stranded on a desert island" scenario) -- but if this is the only book left in the world, what then?

These days, I don't know that the Bible would get much consideration, but, as literature, it truly is incredible, with an extraordinary amount of content that is apropos of everyday life. On the other hand, of course, it comes with an awful lot of baggage, and great potential danger. (The Denzel Washingtons of the world don't always beat the Gary Oldmans -- The Book of Eli.)

In this context (as well as the personal, it's a very good book), 1984 makes great sense. To start from the perspective of the evils of totalitarianism...that's a leg up.

What do you think?