The back of my copy in hand lists an excerpt from The New York Times review, "Angry, eloquent... a terrific story." I can't disagree with that. A Canticle for Leibowitz is bleak assessment of humanity in a continual cycle of self-destruction and struggle for survival, with strong themes on information literacy, morality, and anti-intellectualism.
I think I would have been far happier reading it... maybe last year. However, it is definitely worth reading and I'm glad I got to it.
- This book in many ways is about cycles and patterns. What cycles and patterns did you notice (themes, civilization, narrative, etc)?
- Does the Church as an archivist change the preservation and passing on of knowledge, and how does that manifest? What are the differences between Science as a secular or as a religious practice?w
- What do you think of the permutations of society and cultures present? What about taboos and superstitions? Concepts of ability and disability?
- How do you think the understanding and conceptualizing of a past modern civilization stand? What misconceptions and misinterpretations stand out? What makes sense?
- Let's talk about anti-intellectualism. How does it resonate throughout the book, how does it resonate with real life?
- Is the old man the same person in each part of the story? Does he signify anything?
- What determines right vs wrong?