2012-10-14

Stanislaw Lem - His Master's Voice (or when snails meet)

Very philosophic. Worthwhile for the portrayal of how cold-war politics impacted science, the shallowness of science-fiction in the 50s and 60s, and prescient-forward looking to the skepticism of intelligent-design.

I enjoyed it for its characterizations of Baloyne, Rappaport, and the protaganist-narrator Hogarth. The first, Baloyne is the director of the project. He's outsized in everything. Oblique in direct conversation-people never quite no where he stands - which appears to make him friends with everyone (particularly those in power). Rappaport is a holocaust survivor - he has the objectivity early on to realize that nothing may come of the project. Hogarth is a great "existential puritan" he has ideals which he carries into and out of the project - who manages, show how to keep a endearinglevel of but may leave you with a sense of despair. He sums up his experience near the end of the book -- that the human condition is one where he feels we're snails on separate leaves.

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