in Books and literature, Oxford

After long delay, I dispatched my response to Alison’s letter today. Indirectly, doing so was a reminder of the sheer number of important, interesting people who are out there to keep in touch with. There are even many fellow Oxford students who I see much less than I would like. Thankfully, there have also been reminders of late that even those with whom I lack contact for extended periods do not become entirely alienated from me as a result. At different times, Kate, Viktoria P, and Sarah W have all been reminders of this. To know that is comforting to someone off-continent from family and the bulk of friends.

I also finished re-reading Dune today. I read it for the first time during the first Bowron Lakes expedition, many years ago, with Alison Benjamin and my friend Chevar. Back then, I remember finding it very long and difficult, though enjoyable. It’s certainly a book with extensive verisimilitude. Herbert does an impressive job of constructing a whole universe for it to take place within: complete with politics, history, and religion. Like all the best science fiction, the themes of Dune speak to enduring human concerns and possibilities.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Milan May 25, 2006 at 12:40 am

Things that bother me about the David Lynch version of Dune:

1) The Harkonnen are portrayed as being absurdly evil, to the point where they are less interesting villains than they would be if portrayed as they were in the book. A clever enemy with a claim to power that is in some sense equivalent is much more engaging.

2) Jessica is portrayed as being out of control and inept, the very opposite of a Bene Gesserit.

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