Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yearning for darkness

When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, [mankind] could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they – this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that Man might hope again in wretched darkness.
Walter M. Millar. A Canticle For Leibowitz

When we’re all gone at last then there’ll be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He’ll be out in the road there with nothing to do and nobody to do it to. He’ll say: Where did everybody go? And that’s how it will be. What’s wrong with that?
The Road


Mark said...

I don't know. I find Millar's quote compelling, but then I love Leibowitz. Men could only reasonably believe in Progress (I think) before the 20th century. Now we have science unleashed, and was the last hundred years a century of Progress? I think not, myself.

So it's only, says Millar, when we're miserable that we believe the lie... Does Millar yearn for that lie though? I'm not certain he thinks the humanistic belief in Progress is a good thing, and so I'm not entirely certain he's got the old 'the poor have it so good!' complex going on either.

Tom Conoboy said...

Yes, I've just finished Canticle, and thoroughly enjoyed it. A fuller review to follow.

I don't think Miller does yearn for the lie, no. Absolutely not. Does McCarthy? Possibly.