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    Chapter 00 (Prologue)

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    Chapter 00 (Prologue)

    Postby Freakzilla » 01 Mar 2008 13:27

    Prologue

    Frank Herbert
    April 1984
    When I was writing Dune
    . . . there was no room in my mind for concerns about the book's success or
    failure. I was concerned only with the writing. Six years of research had
    preceded the day I sat down to put the story together, and the interweaving of
    the many plot layers I had planned required a degree of concentration I had
    never before experienced.
    It was to be a story exploring the myth of the Messiah.
    It was to produce another view of a human-occupied planet as an energy machine.
    It was to penetrate the interlocked workings of politics and economics.
    It was to be an examination of absolute prediction and its pitfalls.
    It was to have an awareness drug in it and tell what could happen through
    dependence on such a substance.
    Potable water was to be an analog for oil and for water itself, a substance
    whose supply diminishes each day.
    It was to be an ecological novel, then, with many overtones, as well as a story
    about people and their human concerns with human values, and I had to monitor
    each of these levels at every stage in the book.
    There wasn't room in my head to think about much else.
    Following the first publication, reports from the publishers were slow and, as
    it turned out, inaccurate. The critics had panned it. More than twelve
    publishers had turned it down before publication. There was no advertising.
    Something was happening out there, though.
    For two years, I was swamped with bookstore and reader complaints that they
    could not get the book. The Whole Earth Catalog praised it. I kept getting
    these telephone calls from people asking me if I were starting a cult.
    The answer: "God no!"
    What I'm describing is the slow realization of success. By the time the first
    three Dune books were completed, there was little doubt that this was a popular
    work -- one of the most popular in history, I am told, with some ten million
    copies sold worldwide. Now the most common question people ask is: "What does
    this success mean to you?"
    It surprises me. I didn't expect failure either. It was a work and I did it.
    Parts of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune were written before Dune was
    completed. They fleshed out more in the writing, but the essential story
    remained intact. I was a writer and I was writing. The success meant I could
    spend more time writing.
    Looking back on it, I realize I did the right thing instinctively. You don't
    write for success. That takes part of your attention away from the writing. If
    you're really doing it, that's all you're doing: writing.
    There's an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a
    bookstore and sets down hard earned money (energy) for your book, you owe that
    person some entertainment and as much more as you can give.
    That was really my intention all along.
    Frank Herbert


    Here is the prologue from the UK edition:

    Prologue

    In the name of the Bene Gesserit Order and it's unbroken Sisterhood, this account has been judged reliable and worthy of entry into the Chronicles of Chapter House.
    This well-recognized prescript has been tossed into limbo by the words and actions of the Bashar Miles Teg, the last person in the universe we might have suspected capable of such revelation.
    What opened Teg's eyes? He says it was his encounter with a captive soldier from the Scattering, taken on Gammu and subjected to heavy interrogation. The man called upon the Great God Dur (Archives ref: "Guldur", another name for the Tyrant) to fill his captors' pockets with jewels if they would restore him to the Honoured Matres.
    Teg, mindful of the Missionaria Protectiva's workings, wondered aloud if this prayer had ever been answered. Teg thought that this question would bring a call by the captive for Dur's wrath to fall upon his enemies.
    Instead, the captive was amused. He appeared to think about it for a moment and then said that no one in his acquaintance had ever been answered with jewels.
    "Would you want such a devine response?" Teg asked, probing for the man's real beliefs.
    "It would frighten me," the captive said. "To many would ask for their share."
    Teg's account relates that he immediatly saw through to this man's granular universe, becoming fully aware of how that construct was perfectly submissive to the choices of the believer. It was a matter of faith. The universe was that way because the believer chose to view it that way.
    "I saw immediatly that it was the same for me and for everyone i had ever met," Teg tells us, adding that he recognized in that instant the true nature of the Mother Superior Taraza's design for the ghola and for Rakis.
    Teg's revelation focused his attention on fixed accounts of historical events. He was reminded of our teaching that exotic ideas embedded in particular languages require those languages for expression. Translation always falters without the original mode of expression. The fixed accounts, he said, mostly divert attention from the secret influences around the recorded events. He calls this "stage-manage history".
    We have often remarked how easily the major historians can be lured into furthering the aims of those who would divert attention. I remind you of how the Tyrant killed the historians who angered him for this very reason.
    The ease with wich historians can be captivated is explained in part by the fact that bloody events exert a magnetic attraction on humankind. Historians are no exception. They cater to that ancient human desire you see manifested in the mobs gawking at executions or people stopping to stare at the scene of an accident.
    Historians have the added incentive that catering to this bloody attraction often produces wealth and power. it is popular. Digging deeply into obscure events and the secret machinations of unknown people is not only more difficult, it is observably dangerous to carrers if not to lives. Such activity seldom produces historical works wich attract popular approval. Even when such revelatory works appear, they have a way of vanishing, along with their authors. This is but an extention of what our Order calls "the constant conflict". The stakes in conflicts do not change. Battle determines who will control the wealth or its equivalent.
    Teg reminds us of what we already knew but did not apply fully to ourselves. We of the Sisterhood are miners digging ever deeper into veins of human complexity. We know very well that appearance, stature, bodily shape and colour--none of these things necessarily signals human worth or human intelligence.
    No person or society is ever a pinnacle. Evolution does not end short of death for an entire species. The fixed pattern of the seasons has been imposed on countless planets but few have dared a perpetual springtime, or even a perpetual summer. Lack of change creates boredom. Those who are bored become unruly.
    Did the Tyrant not warn us?
    "I am anthropology," he said. "Study me and you will see why no argument justifies any belief in the natural superiority of your own kind. Individuals may be superior. Some societies may demonstrate superiority. But all is transient."
    Do not tell me you understand this! If you dare say that i will throw the Zensunni Warning into your faces!
    "Assumptions built on ideas of understanding assail us from all sides. Such assumptions place a faith in words stronger than that promoted by the organized religions. It is a faith seldom questioned. The very act of saying that things exist wich cannot be described shakes a universe where words and the systems for sharing and transitting them are the ultimate god."
    Systems, my sisters! There is the heart of Teg's revelation. Rank and social position may be at the core of all social evolution but systematic remains a dangerous word. Systems, following the unconscious patterns of their human creators, always take over. It is our systems wich have brought us to our present sorry state! But we still have that deathless choice: degenerate or overcome our adversities!
    -Mother Superior Darwi Odrade, Argument in counsil
    Last edited by Freakzilla on 07 Jul 2008 10:45, edited 1 time in total.
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    Postby valys » 02 Mar 2008 08:55

    Thanks, Freak, I don't remember this prologue in the romanian edition I have. And I'm (re)reading Heretics now, I would be concerned if it was there and i didn't see it :lol:
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    Postby Freakzilla » 02 Mar 2008 09:34

    valys wrote:Thanks, Freak, I don't remember this prologue in the romanian edition I have. And I'm (re)reading Heretics now, I would be concerned if it was there and i didn't see it :lol:


    That's why I named it chapter 00, some editions don't have it. :wink:

    I've still got a few chapters left to summarize, hopefully I'll finish before you but I'm doing the last few chapters of four of the other books too.
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    Postby Tyrant » 02 Mar 2008 15:09

    yeah..thanks for the post .... alot of people ask me why i love dune so much..and the first few paragraphs pretty much cover it...thanks
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    Postby Mandy » 02 Mar 2008 16:16

    I wonder if this prologue was in Pinky and the Brain's copy :P That's probably where KJA got the idea that people hated FH's sequels to Dune.
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    Postby Phaedrus » 02 Mar 2008 17:19

    If they read it, they stopped before the end:

    You don't write for success. That takes part of your attention away from the writing. If you're really doing it, that's all you're doing: writing.

    There's an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money (energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give.

    That was really my intention all along.
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    Postby SandChigger » 02 Mar 2008 20:37

    That's the problem. A lot of people do find their books "entertaining." So I'm sure they tell themselves that they're doing just as Frank did.

    Frank's books are a full course meal at a great restaurant. K(&B)'s a drive-thru MacCheeseburger, fries and coke. Large-sized.

    The latter fill a (much needed?) void, the former satisfy more deeply and stick to yer ribs. ;)
    I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

    I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

    I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA
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    Postby Robspierre » 02 Mar 2008 22:28

    Phaedrus wrote:If they read it, they stopped before the end:

    You don't write for success. That takes part of your attention away from the writing. If you're really doing it, that's all you're doing: writing.

    There's an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money (energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give.

    That was really my intention all along.


    I have this quote pinned to my bulletin board.

    Rob
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    Postby Seraphan » 05 Jul 2008 18:15

    The prologue in the uk version that i have has an adressing to the bene gesserit counsil by Odrade. If anyone wants it i can post it. Let me know.
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    “This tutoring is dialectical. Literature makes us better noticers of life; we get to practice on life itself; which in turn makes us better readers of detail in literature; which in turn makes us better readers of life. And so on and on.” - James Wood
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    Postby Freakzilla » 07 Jul 2008 07:04

    Seraphan wrote:The prologue in the uk version that i have has an adressing to the bene gesserit counsil by Odrade. If anyone wants it i can post it. Let me know.


    Go for it, I'll add it to the original post.
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    Postby Seraphan » 07 Jul 2008 10:38

    Prologue

    In the name of the Bene Gesserit Order and it's unbroken Sisterhood, this account has been judged reliable and worthy of entry into the Chronicles of Chapter House.
    This well-recognized prescript has been tossed into limbo by the words and actions of the Bashar Miles Teg, the last person in the universe we might have suspected capable of such revelation.
    What opened Teg's eyes? He says it was his encounter with a captive soldier from the Scattering, taken on Gammu and subjected to heavy interrogation. The man called upon the Great God Dur (Archives ref: "Guldur", another name for the Tyrant) to fill his captors' pockets with jewels if they would restore him to the Honoured Matres.
    Teg, mindful of the Missionaria Protectiva's workings, wondered aloud if this prayer had ever been answered. Teg thought that this question would bring a call by the captive for Dur's wrath to fall upon his enemies.
    Instead, the captive was amused. He appeared to think about it for a moment and then said that no one in his acquaintance had ever been answered with jewels.
    "Would you want such a devine response?" Teg asked, probing for the man's real beliefs.
    "It would frighten me," the captive said. "To many would ask for their share."
    Teg's account relates that he immediatly saw through to this man's granular universe, becoming fully aware of how that construct was perfectly submissive to the choices of the believer. It was a matter of faith. The universe was that way because the believer chose to view it that way.
    "I saw immediatly that it was the same for me and for everyone i had ever met," Teg tells us, adding that he recognized in that instant the true nature of the Mother Superior Taraza's design for the ghola and for Rakis.
    Teg's revelation focused his attention on fixed accounts of historical events. He was reminded of our teaching that exotic ideas embedded in particular languages require those languages for expression. Translation always falters without the original mode of expression. The fixed accounts, he said, mostly divert attention from the secret influences around the recorded events. He calls this "stage-manage history".
    We have often remarked how easily the major historians can be lured into furthering the aims of those who would divert attention. I remind you of how the Tyrant killed the historians who angered him for this very reason.
    The ease with wich historians can be captivated is explained in part by the fact that bloody events exert a magnetic attraction on humankind. Historians are no exception. They cater to that ancient human desire you see manifested in the mobs gawking at executions or people stopping to stare at the scene of an accident.
    Historians have the added incentive that catering to this bloody attraction often produces wealth and power. it is popular. Digging deeply into obscure events and the secret machinations of unknown people is not only more difficult, it is observably dangerous to carrers if not to lives. Such activity seldom produces historical works wich attract popular approval. Even when such revelatory works appear, they have a way of vanishing, along with their authors. This is but an extentionof what our Order calls "the constant conflict". The stakes in conflicts do not change. Battle determines who will control the wealth or its equivalent.
    Teg reminds us of what we already knew but did not apply fully to ourselves. We of the Sisterhood are miners digging ever deeper into veins of human complexity. We know very well that appearance, stature, bodily shape and colour--none of these things necessarily signals human worth or human intelligence.
    No person or society is ever a pinnacle. Evolution does not end short of death for an entire species. The fixed pattern of the seasons has been imposed on countless planets but few have dared a perpetual springtime, or even a perpetual summer. Lack of change creates boredom. Those who are bored become unruly.
    Did the Tyrant not warn us?
    "I am anthropology," he said. "Study me and you will see why no argument justifies any belief in the natural superiority of your own kind. Individuals may be superior. Some societies may demonstrate superiority. But all is transient."
    Do not tell me you understand this! If you dare say that i will throw the Zensunni Warning into your faces!
    "Assumptions built on ideas of understanding assail us from all sides. Such assumptions place a faith in words stronger than that promoted by the organized religions. It is a faith seldom questioned. The very act of saying that things exist wich cannot be described shakes a universe where words and the systems for sharing and transitting them are the ultimate god."
    Systems, my sisters! There is the heart of Teg's revelation. Rank and social position may be at the core of all social evolution but systematic remains a dangerous word. Systems, following the unconscious patterns of their human creators, always take over. It is our systems wich have brought us to our present sorry state! But we still have that deathless choice: degenerate or overcome our adversities!
    -Mother Superior Darwi Odrade, Argument in counsil
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    "The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand." - Frank Herbert
    “This tutoring is dialectical. Literature makes us better noticers of life; we get to practice on life itself; which in turn makes us better readers of detail in literature; which in turn makes us better readers of life. And so on and on.” - James Wood
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    Postby orald » 07 Jul 2008 11:08

    Oh, I've got that one.
    In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

    I wish I could have been with you that one last time.
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    Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

    Postby Freakzilla » 06 Aug 2012 11:09

    Revised
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    Re:

    Postby Bronso » 14 Dec 2012 01:43

    Phaedrus wrote:If they read it, they stopped before the end:

    You don't write for success. That takes part of your attention away from the writing. If you're really doing it, that's all you're doing: writing.

    There's an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money (energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give.

    That was really my intention all along.


    SandChigger wrote:That's the problem. A lot of people do find their books "entertaining." So I'm sure they tell themselves that they're doing just as Frank did.


    It's the "and as much more as you can give" that makes all the difference.

    Frank used entertainment as a tool to teach deep lessons which would otherwise be hard to grasp. BH/KJA books seek to entertain for the sake of entertainment alone. Whether anyone believes they were successful or not in that goal is irrelevant; it was still a failure because they started with the wrong goal to begin with.
    “What do you despise? By this are you truly known.”
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