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qwallath

Qwallath

Hi, I'm Oscar, a historical linguist from the Netherlands who also likes to write about music, games, and history. Check out my longer blog posts and other writings on Sub Specie.

Currently reading

Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
Mary Douglas
Signs: an Introduction to Semiotics
Thomas A. Sebeok, Marcel Danesi
Language and Space
Lynn Nadel, Mary A. Peterson, Paul Bloom

A Voyage to Arcturus

A Voyage to Arcturus - David Lindsay 'A Voyage to Arcturus' is a peculiar book, not really science fiction nor any thing else in the traditional sense of the word. The protagonist of the book - if we may call Maskull that - travels to a planet orbiting the star Arcturus, where he is transformed to the varying likenesses of its local inhabitants, growing new organs subtly different from ours and losing some again over the course of the novel.

It is quickly clear that the novel is first and foremost about ideas, and the application of various ethical principles. The natives of the planet differ widely in disposition, and Maskull generally goes with the flow, experiencing different emotions and ethical perspectives. The book has been likened to 'A Pilgrim's Progress' for that reason, and there is some sense in that. 'A Voyage to Arcturus' is in a way an allegorical tale, though it is rather vague or even psychedelic.

The book didn't exactly pull me in in the first read. It is too wavering or unremarkable in its style for that. At the same time, I have a strong feeling that this book is a bit of a sleeper: one that will slowly give up its fruits after a new reading or two. I intend to revisit it some time in the future and see what it will yield then.