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A Canticle for Leibowitz

 Author: Walter M. Miller Jr.  Category: Science Fiction  Published: October 1, 1959  Language: English  File Size: 3.7 MB  Tags: ApocalypticClassicsDystopiaFantasyFictionPost ApocalypticReligionScience fiction |  Download PDF


A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr., contains themes of the conflict between religion and science, religious ethics and secular ethics, sin and redemption, myth and preternatural innocence.


Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert lands of the Southwestern US after a catastrophic nuclear war, the novel spans the thousands of years it takes for civilization to rebuild itself. It is a study of apocalyptic cycles and how they affect the human condition.

Famous Quotes:

The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they seemed to become with it, and with themselves as well.

You warred against the weapons of war. Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.

Knowledge, without wisdom, is a dangerous thing.

Pride is a luxury a monk can ill afford.

Even a monastery can’t function without a population of fools.

Science shall not consist in sweating a single detail, but in embracing death by clinging to life.

The cyclical nature of history is no excuse for walking blind.

The force that once moved matter in the minds of men became a mere tickle.

He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good.

I think you must be a very great fool indeed.

He found out the hard way that the price of pushing a little knowledge too far was the death of wisdom.

We are all fools at least once in our lives; just some of us get over it while others remain fools until death.

Pick wrong, Brother Cherubim, and you remember the result to your dying breath.

The ancients knew a thing or two, dearie.

Maybe the race is not the swift, but the patient.

A new niche opened, beckoning to us.

Literary awards:

  • Hugo Award for Best Novel (1961)
  • Locus Award for All-Time Best Novel (1975)