Die Reise zum Mond Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac

ISBN:

Published: 2004

Hardcover

127 pages


Description

Die Reise zum Mond  by  Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac

Die Reise zum Mond by Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac
2004 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 127 pages | ISBN: | 9.79 Mb

The ignorant man who thinks hes smart only because he has a diploma has to answer me.This is a remarkable book that is very clever, entertaining, and thought provoking. Elsewhere, I have referred to it as wise and foolish in equal measure, and thus great fun. It may be difficult to discern from the book just what the author may have actually thought, and Im sure that is intentional.

At times hes having us on. At other times, hes presenting some pretty radical ideas and reflections which may have been a bit too controversial for him to own, so he has ridiculous moon-atheists proclaim these ideas while his own character is befuddled, and sometimes offers rather lame, ineffectual objections.The books ending is rather abrupt, yet I dont know whether the continuation in the sequel The States and Empires of the Sun makes up for this minor defect.Perhaps many readers are unaware of the fact that such a man as Cyrano actually existed.

Hes best known, certainly, through the fictional portrayal of his character in Rostands play. But its very exciting to experience the language and thoughts of the real Cyrano, a poet and playwright with panache who was an accomplished duelist and soldier, who had a big nose, and who wrote fantasies about magical travels to the moon. It was interesting to see how Rostand drew not just from some of the details of Cyranos life, but also from his writing, to arrive at the idea of using poetry as a form of currency to pay bakers for the cakes we eat, and the detailed description of several fantastic methods of space travel.Speaking of influence, Italo Calvino surely acknowledged his debt to Cyrano, but I didnt realize just how close a part of this book came to what Calvino later developed in his story The Distance of the Moon.While some of Cyranos philosophical ramblings may seem laughable, in other ways he seems way ahead of his times.

While reading, I noted once or twice wrong, but right in principle. E.g., he comes from ideas relating to the four basic elements of classical times, but he tries to argue that matter is essentially one substance. He then goes on to describe different shaped particles with their own qualities. Hes not right in specifics, yet he forecasts atomic theory in some sense, his differently shaped particles arent radically unlike the notion of atoms defined by their differing numbers of protons and the resultant properties, and he presents concepts such as that the matter we view macroscopically is mostly void, with tiny particles at a relatively great distance to one another.Among other things he seems to get right, though they werent yet established scientific beliefs, were a heliocentric universe, and the placebo effect--which he theorizes as a rational explanation for faith healing denying such a miracle, and he presents this a century before the placebo effect is first investigated by John Haygarth.

He also proposes something similar to Pascals wager as an argument for religious faith (its better to believe in a non-existent God than to disbelieve an existent one), yet he may be making a mockery of it here, and hes doing so decades before Pascal proposes it in his Pensees.Cyrano writes some perfectly silly stuff.

I thought it entertaining how his character, a mostly calm and rational type, was prone to the occasional irrational outburst, which created quite a bit of trouble for him, including having religiously offended the prophet Elijah and thus missing his opportunity for a free taste of an apple from the tree of knowledge (though he steals one, it is contaminated by a poison skin that causes forgetfulness and confusion).Anyway, he may be a perfectly patient and attentive student on some days, but at table he might rudely burst out with Where the hell is that soup!?Among the persuasive arguments that Cyrano cleverly disavows by putting it into the mouth of another is the argument against honoring elders and parents.

Surely, its fine to respect our parents if they are wise, but otherwise: trample with rage on the belly of the father who begat you and the breast of the mother who conceived you- do you imagine that the cowardly respect that vicious parents have ripped from your weakness is so pleasing to Heaven that it will thereby lengthen your years? I dont think so.Unlike other wits, in the years gone and the years to come, Cyrano singles out some individuals in the real world to praise, but in expressing condemnation he avoids naming names. This doesnt seem to proceed from any particular fear, but seems gentlemanly in character.

E.g. I also met a number of other people that your world treats as divines but found in them nothing but a lot of babble and pride. There is no need to call out his specific literary or political rivals for this pronouncement to hold weight. I think we can all relate.Theres so much magical fun and goofiness in this rather short book, I dont want to spoil all of it, while I have notes on so much of it.

Maybe, just as a teaser, Ill put in one little quote sans-context, and leave the rest for the book to say on its own:You destroy the cabbages soul when you kill it, but in killing a man you simply give him a change of address.



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