Some fiction centers around plot, and while Babel-17's plot is truly captivating, the thoughts and ideas intermingled with it are what kept me reading the book and affected my thought process. Which is precisely one of the important themes of the book: how much does the language affect who we are? Could we imagine a language that when spoken or thought would change the way one perceives the world? As if this alone wouldn't be exciting, Delany bases off his work on Plato's Dialogues - making firm connection to philosophy.
Not an avid book reader per se, but I like to read a good book now and then. Mostly interested in Sci-Fi, but open to other genres as well!
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2023 Reading Goal
33% complete! indutny has read 4 of 12 books.
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Content warning Contains some information on the plot and some thoughts about it.
On a surface layer "Scanner Darkly" is about the police state through the eyes of a paranoid junkie. Suspicion mixed up with delusion, true and broken friendship, and heavy drug use. However, further into the book and beneath the surface lies the question of a relationship between the god (if any) and man. Building upon St. Paul's "for now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." Philip K. Dick seems to ask a question: if we do see the god darkly through the glass, does the god see us the same way? If there's no way to know whether you see only the worst in people, could it help to look into morally (and perhaps visually) inverted mirror? Watching his friends and himself Bob Arctor asks that, and wonders if it is someone's obligation to "at least mark their sad comings and goings" "so they’ll be remembered." The answer to this is certainly not present in the book, but sometimes a good question is much better to have and for that I'd recommend reading "Scanner Darkly".