A Canticle for Leibowitz and The Fictional World of Archives

Original Novel Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz

Author: Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Publisher: 1960; reissued in paperback at various times by Bantam Books

History and learning is kept alive in this post-nuclear holocaust Earth by the Albertian Order of St. Leibowitz, the saint being a fictional character killed during the War.

Robert Shuster, Director of Archives, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Illinois, provided this review:

I don't know this book as well as I would like, since I have only read it about 150 times. It takes place in the future, after a nuclear war that has sent the human race back to sticks and stones. The Lebowitiz Brothers is a Catholic order of "bookleggers", dedicated to collecting and preserving what books and documents remain from the pre-nuclear war period and preserving them for later generations. The book consists of three novella, one from the period just after the war, one from a period similar to the Renassiance and from the "modern" period when the mankind is again about to exteriminate itself. I say this book is not exactly on point, since the Brothers are not exactly archivists.

But they are dedicated to preserving and passing on information from the past. It really is an excellent book, dealing with such topics as free will and predestination, sin, the value of knowledge, and the weight of history.

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CONTENTS: The Fictional World of Archives

Submitted by Peter A. Kurilecz, 1997.01.05; Robert Shuster, 1997.01.07. Updated 1999.06.28.