Fear is the mind-killer

by Frank Herbert

You might ask me what is the purpose of this blog, and I’d probably stutter and fail to give a coherent answer. There is none. That I know of, at least. On the other hand, I can tell you this: no book exists in vacuum. You can’t read a book without being accompanied by your personal experience. Reading the page you’re on is the ultimate culmination of your own complex, always-changing flow of events, and you can never disassociate yourself from the book after reading it.

That’s why I intend to simply write whatever the hell comes to mind after reading some sci-fi books. After posting, I’ll probably revisit the texts and add or subtract to them. If the world changes every waking moment, if our thoughts are the stuff of currents and tides, why not words?

No better way to kick this thing of than Dune, of course, which I read twice and barely think I’ve scratched its surface. I didn’t know what to make of it when I first opened it. It was way over my head, too much of too many things — an overload of spice, in short. My second read, years later, was a better experience. Like traveling to a distant place, and getting back with an assortment of pictures, Dune left me wondering, awed by its complexity.

Frank Herbert’s saga is an exciting intertwining of politics, ecology, middle eastern influences and philosophy. To be brief, the most sought-after resource in the universe, the spice, is at the center of this planetary intrigue, and the galactic superpowers lobby for it, plan for it, fight for it. Paul Atreides is our protagonist, which by force of circumstances will become leader of men, and then, our brief association with his struggles and fears starts to fade, as power begins to corrupt him, transform him.

I’m starting to get a sense of why Dune fans love re-reading the books. Some characters, when ‘spiced-up’, get a level of experience the book describes as prescience: the visualization of past and future timelines, in their ever-changing flux. This, I believe, is not unlike a reader’s own experience when revisiting these pages. Like our very own present is a complex and layered mix of influences, every page of Dune and its sequels is a present on its own: there to be lived, although never completely understood.

I have no access to spice, which means I don’t really know, among other things, what will become of this account. I don’t enjoy reviewing books, I don’t collect them, I don’t really care for the book’s art. I just enjoy the absolute trips of prescience they bring me. These posts are nothing more than an experiment, maybe even a spice-coffee-induced vision of a future neglected hobby, and I hope you enjoy reading these words as much as I enjoy writing them.

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