IniciGrupsConversesExploraTendències
Cerca al lloc
Aquest lloc utilitza galetes per a oferir els nostres serveis, millorar el desenvolupament, per a anàlisis i (si no has iniciat la sessió) per a publicitat. Utilitzant LibraryThing acceptes que has llegit i entès els nostres Termes de servei i política de privacitat. L'ús que facis del lloc i dels seus serveis està subjecte a aquestes polítiques i termes.
Hide this

Resultats de Google Books

Clica una miniatura per anar a Google Books.

Odd John and Sirius de Olaf Stapledon
S'està carregant…

Odd John and Sirius (edició 1972)

de Olaf Stapledon

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
267581,904 (3.79)1
In the list of modern science fiction personalities, the late British philosopher and novelist W. Olaf Stapledon is prominent. Last and First Men and Starmaker are generally considered to be the finest future histories ever written, the gage by which all earlier and later works are measured. Odd John and Sirius are no less accurate in dealing with the problem in another guise. The central question is: if and when a superior being is introduced into a culture, how will either survive? Stapledon's answers are by no means romantic fantasies; they are the pathetic, realistic conclusions which we, one day, may be forced to accept.Odd John is the definitive fictionalization of the mutated superman. After a strange birth and childhood, John is suddenly compelled to accept the fact that he is different. What is more, he has to decide what to do with his gifts. Sirius, although the logical successor to Odd John, deals with quite another being - an alien intelligence, artificially produced, a dog with superhuman mentality, who is not only superior to his own kind, but rejected by those with whom he has most in common. Stapledon uses his powers - intellectual, imaginative, and observant - to detail the conflict in its very ""human"" form.Odd John and Sirius are something else besides explorations of superbeings. Stapledon is capable of a great deal of humor and tongue-in-cheek description. If his writing, as he says in the subtitle to Odd John, is between jest and earnest, his sympathies are divided between the conflicting forces of man and superman. For those in literature, in psychology, in philosophy, or even in the world as it now exists, the detailed histories of these two strange beings will be ones to ponder. If anything, we have moved closer to the stage when conflict between superior and sapient man is imminent.… (més)
Membre:lilnemo
Títol:Odd John and Sirius
Autors:Olaf Stapledon
Informació:Dover Publications (1972), Edition: 0, Paperback, 309 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Odd John and Sirius de William Olaf Stapledon

Cap
S'està carregant…

Apunta't a LibraryThing per saber si aquest llibre et pot agradar.

No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.

» Mira també 1 menció

Es mostren totes 5
After reading SIRIUS:

Stories about pets usually piss me off. They tend toward sentimentality, anthropomorfization and predictable plot lines. And when I discovered that Stapledon’s “Sirius” was named after a dog, the main character, I groaned—but not for long. In utero this being was mixed with humanity, after a series of failed attempts by a well-meaning scientist, to create a unique vision of what sentience was and what it could be. Usually when a character struggles with its wolf-nature, it’s more along the lines of “Steppenwolf” or “Werewolf in Paris”—purely the animal, primitive side warring with the human, superior side. Sirius suffered from all of the normal canine deficiencies: color blindness, lack of visual sharpness, lack of speech, “handlessness”, and the overwhelming urge to chase a scent or rut bitches in the wild (his phrase, not mine). However, his exaggerated sense of smell and hearing lent a distinct advantage over his simian cousins—and with the same level of intelligence, offered a completely fresh perspective on what it means to be alive and be aware of it. His idea of god, of spirituality, was chasing after the unknown scent of his dreams. His sense of community was pack-based and therefore naturally social and territorial. And all his singular experience rendered in a commingling of human wailing and wolf howling.

This wasn’t just a great science fiction book. It was a beautiful book. Not since Thomas Mann’s “A Man and His Dog” was I this engaged about a story with an animal as the central character. And “Sirius” went far, far beyond that. It wasn’t merely about companionship—about the universality of existence and grafting that perceived insight on our beloved pets. This was enlightenment. Not purely human, not purely alien, not purely godlike. Something outside ourselves is represented in this novel that only rings truer the metal sides of our inner being.

“Whatever becomes of me I shall always belong to you. Even when I have been unkind to you I belong to you. Even if—even if I fall in love with someone and marry him some day, I shall belong to you. Why did I not know it properly until today?” He said, “It is I that am yours until I die. I have known it ever so long—since I bit you.” Looking into his grey eyes and fondling the dense growth on his shoulder, she said, “We are bound to hurt one another so much, again and again. We are so terribly different.” “Yes,” he said. “But the more different, the more lovely the loving.”

—Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

After reading ODD JOHN:

I almost never read two books of the same genre in a row—especially by the same author. But since I’ve got a collected version of two Stapledon classics, I can’t just put it away and start something new (namely, a Western I’m chomping to get at for research). And since both books were written nine years apart, they’re more linked thematically than as a continuing saga. What’s surprising is their publishing dates of 1935 and 1944 (“Odd John” and “Sirius” respectively); not bogged down with sentimentality and outdated science—rife with speculation, but of the best sort for science fiction. Timeless. Genre-transcending. Maybe all so I don’t feel so piggish gobbling down both at one time.

Novels of ideas. Almost philosophy, at times. And that kind of fiction never really goes out of fashion:

“Blast!” he said. “It means I must take this damned dull game much more seriously. And there’s so much else to be done just now, far more important in the long run. I see it may be as difficult for me to beat Hom. Sap. at this game as it is for Hom. Sap. to beat apes at acrobatics. The human body is not equipped for the jungle, and my mind may not be equipped for the jungle of individualistic finance. But I’ll get round it somehow, just as Hom. Sap. got round acrobatics.”

—Odd John by Olaf Stapledon ( )
  ToddSherman | Aug 24, 2017 |
In the world of Science Fiction alien creatures are common characters. Often these creatures have superior intelligence. The novel Sirius by Olaf Stapledon imagines what would happen if a scientist created a super-intelligent dog. Set in Wales and, briefly, Cambridge and London during the years before and during World War II this is a realistic portrayal of the creation of just such a dog.
Thomas Trelone is the scientist who creates the super-intelligent dog, named Sirius. He is the only dog to have attained a human-like intelligence. Through a number of experiments Thomas has created better dogs who have an intermediate intelligence (they are above the dog's average intelligence, but they cannot master human language and complex analytic thinking as Sirius does). A sense of existential questioning suffuses the book, as the author delves into every aspect of Sirius's psyche. The novel deals with a large number of human issues through Sirius and his experiences, his unusual nature, his ideas and his relationships with humans.

Sirius is raised in North Wales, near Trawsfynydd. He is born at the same time as his creator's human daughter, Plaxy, and both of them are raised together as brother and sister. The characters go to great lengths to prevent Sirius from becoming a circus-type wonder-dog, and instead, they seek to develop Sirius's character much like a family would create and foster that of a human child. The intelligence of the dog is comparable to a normal human being, as he is able to communicate with English words, although it takes some time to understand his canine pronunciation.

The story is fascinating through honest portrayal of the disadvantages that Sirius faces in spite of his intelligence. The lack of hands reminds one of how much we take our own hands for granted, but there are other unique issues like Sirius's wolf-like nature which overwhelms him at times and leads to serious issues that Thomas did not foresee, but must nevertheless address. There is also the difficulty of Sirius's relationship with Plaxy which is close but strained as she grows older and leaves home. Interestingly she is not as interested in serious learning and contemplation as is Sirius creating another difficulty. In the end Sirius writes a book and starts another.

Stapledon writes with a lucid style and presents the world of Sirius with a realism that depicts his problems and accomplishments in a wholly believable way. Sirius's interest in the meaning of life and his spiritual nature were some of the most unexpected yet interesting aspects of this delightful work of speculative fiction. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 8, 2015 |
My reaction to reading these novels in 2004.

Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest -- This 1939 novel may very well be the archetypal superman/mutant/superchild novel. (It's hardly the first. H. G. Wells certainly had an earlier version with his Food of the Gods.) Stapledon, a professional philosopher, was clearly interesting in using the viewpoint of his super mutant John in criticizing human affairs. That, of course, is one of the time honored purpose of sf, but it was also interesting to read the author of the ultimate in cosmic tales (so much so that Stapledonian is an adjective in discussing sf) -- Star Maker and First and Last Men -- write a personal story though you could argue his Last Men in London was a bridge between the two scopes of story. I suspect that every author of superchildren since has had to contend with this novel. In particular, the narrator issympathetic to John like a dog to a human. He regards John as above human morality thus doesn't judge him when he murders a policeman or when he commits incest with his mother Pax -- an incident of incest in which the narrator coyly says he can't describe but talks about it explicitly enough where we know what happened if not the details of the act itself. There are some similarities in philosophy, plot devices, and themes between this novel and the First and Last Men series: there is mention of communism (John regards Soviet communism as egotism, a secular religion), the projection of the psyche into the past and future (the enabling mechanism in Last Men in London), and the idea that man needs a spiritual quest (the object and practice of which is not to be found in conventional religion though elements of it are there) is reflected in both the series and this novel. Indeed, it is that ineffable nature of the quest which the colony of supermen which dooms them. They pursue their mysterious, unexplained task at the end as, in a parody of British-Soviet relationships, the British government crushes the island colony (the Soviets want to incorporate it into their empire which the supermen resist). I found it interesting that, in what I suspect was marketed as a mainstream British novel, references to homosexuality (John's first sexual experiences are with a tamed bully who he manipulates into regarding him with a begrudging canine loyalty) are blatant. In presenting a biography of John that uses an historical perspective after his death (the narrator relates stuff told to him contemporaneously by John as well as stuff he found out later), Stapledon gives a pretty detailed story of a superman, physically slow to age but very advanced mentally, growing up and finding a purpose in life and the deliberate, manipulative, secretive way he gains knowledge of the world of men and power in it. I found the associated supermen and superwomen (including the very long-lived Jacqueline who has gained an exquisite knowledge of humanity by centuries of on and off again prostitution) with their hyperdeveloped talents (but always lacking the complete gamut of talents and perspective that John has) equally interesting as John himself. John comes to see himself as having a religious purpose and one chapter's title, "John in the Wilderness", alludes to that. The sex life of the supermen and superwomen on their island colony is casual but not excessive, and John and Lo do not have sex with each other for a long time because they want each other to be fully mature. (The mutants are described as having a remarkable degree of detachment from themselves and an ability to analyze their motives and feelings.) I'm not sure where the "jest" part of the subtitle comes in -- perhaps the very idea of the mutants themselves. I'm pretty sure the "earnest" part comes in Stapledon's, via John, criticism of society.

Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord -- This is the other bookend, the companion, to Stapledon's Odd John in examining human society and psychology. The later novel featured a superhuman or, as John himself puts it, a "real" human. This novel features a "super-sheep-dog", a creature created with judicious breeding and application of hormones in utero. It is a creature with high human intelligence but frustrated by a lack of hands, of cunning hearing and voice and smell but poor vision and, most tellingly, (and in an echo of a complaint made by Frankenstein's monster) a creature without a world. ("Why," complains Sirius to his maker Thomas, "did you make me without making a world for me to live in.") In a rough sense, this novel can be seen to be like H. G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau in that both feature an attempt to raise a beast to the level of human. (Wells' Outline of History and The Science of Life are read by Sirius and Wells' opinion that man possesses "horrible selfishness" as "an imperfectly socialized species" gets a brief mention, so there's a fair chance that Stapledon had read Wells' novel before publishing this story in 1944.) However, whereas Wells' novel despaired at taming the bestial inheritance of evolution with social institutions like law and religion, Stapledon's Sirius doesn't so much despair at taming his violent, destructive animal impulses (though the wolf does call to him and, at times, he, in his eyes, murders a horse and a man as well as attacks several humans) as despair at not having any sort of world to fit his para-human thoughts and desires in with. Essentially, this is the story of a romance between a woman, Plaxys, and Sirius with, near the end of Sirius' life, a sort of love triangle is introduced between the two and narrator Robert. Raised together since it is Plaxys' father that creates Sirius, it is their relation, the unit they both eventually refer to as "Sirius-Plaxy", that is the object of the subtitle's "love and discord". It also symbolizes the love and hate that Sirius feels for man in general. (Stapledon throws in a few cryptic bits of crypto-Freudianism. The narrator has, as Plaxys chides him, a penchant for amateur psychoanalysis. He thinks Plaxys complex relation with Sirius is mostly the result of her ambiguous feelings about her father, the man who created Sirius. I can't figure out if this relationship between Sirius and Plaxys ever involves sex. Plaxys at one time describes herself as Sirius' bitch. When confronted by a minister with the local villagers' suspicion that Plaxys' and Sirius' relationship involves sex, she doesn't deny it and just says she loves Sirius. The narrator Robert merely says people couldn't understand the relationship of the two in a passage which sounds like the coy account of incest between John and his mother in Odd John. There are, in fact, several similarities in theme and plot. Both novels feature similarly named females (Pax and Plaxys) who comfort their super-protagonist. However, apart from the one bit of incest, there is no romantic feelings between John and Pax, and Pax is clearly John's intellectual inferior. The mothering of Sirius is done by Elizabeth. Both novels feature relatively straight, if non-salacious references to sex. Both John and Sirius feel, at times, that they are mating with beasts (which, compared to them, they are). Plaxys and Sirius eventually agree that their respective biological needs and urges will involve sexual and romantic partners other than the other. Both protagonist embark on both straightforward and deceptive means to learn about the world of man. John uses the guise of his child-like body to take in the confidence of adults. John, as mere dog, eavesdrops. When dealing with those who know his intelligence, he has conversations. Both novels feature sympathetic narrators who are personally acquainted with the protagonist. (First person narrative on the part of super-man or super-dog would be unworkable and unbelievable though both are described as leaving records behind.) Both go through phases where they are interested in certain things. In his religious phase, Sirius hangs out with a minster in London's poor East End. Both are very introspective. Both look for some purpose. Sirius, however, never really finds one. Both retreat from civilization. John goes to the island colony. Sirius goes feral in Wales. War and international tension play their part in the downfall of both. John's island community gets caught in the conflict between Britain and the USSR. Sirius is accused of being a Nazi spy. Both of course find fault and flaws with humanity yet are sometimes amazed at the accomplishments of civilization. Both feel detached from politics. Sirius can't even really believe that the war has anything to do with him, though, ultimately, it claims Thomas' life and Plaxy gets drafted. I particularly liked his amazement that the people he meets at Cambridge seem to despair of one of the things he is most jealous of in humanity: "handedness", the ability to do manual labor. He notes that everyone seems to want their kids to be "blackcoat" intellectuals. He thinks it sad that the human race is divided between the rural folk he meets as a sheep dog working for a kindly neighbor, the intellectuals of Cambridge, and the poor of London. Discussion of communism even shows up here, quite explicitly. Sirius and Plaxy have a discussion about communism, and Sirius (and, I suspect, Stapledon through him) rejects Soviet style communism or the notion the proletariat should be in charge for some vague notion of a spiritual communism directed and for a spiritual end. Indeed, as with the diversely mutated and appearing supermen of John's colony, Sirius and Plaxy see their diversity and love for each other part of a noble, higher community of intelligence bound by love. (That is why I suspect Sirius and Plaxy have sex. Because Stapledon regards it as a sort of infrequent, perhaps unsatisfying -- unlikely the better "fitting" normal sexual partners of each -- expression of a spiritual love.) I think this novel is more interesting and better than Odd John because of Sirius more alien nature (though John develops psychic talents which Sirius doesn't). Stapledon does a nice job of having Plaxy torture Sirius about his poor sight. In turn, Sirius has a world of smell to explore (which is often revelatory about human motives and feelings -- he often, as a mere dog, notes human hypocrisy in sexual mores and even sadism) which is almost totally closed to humans. He loves music though he finds human composition and performance of it crude and hopes to add his own compositions to man's though, apart from a performance in church and duets with Plaxys, the plan comes to naught. ( )
  RandyStafford | Apr 3, 2014 |
Odd John is an early and great entrant into the 'homo-superior emerges' sub-genre. Somewhat like Slan but without the sense of pulp adventure. More British, perhaps.
Sirius is a fine book too. ( )
  TimCTaylor | Dec 5, 2011 |
I’d like an evolutionary upgrade, too, please… but not if it comes with Odd John’s weird looks and his casual contempt for the lives of homo sapiens. I also had a problem with his super-intelligent compatriots’ histrionic tendency to commit suicide—or blow up their island paradise—whenever some run-of-the-mill human fondled them the wrong way. In fact, now that I think about it with my puny, standard-issue cerebral cortex, the only things I really admired about Odd John and his ilk were the telepathic abilities and the license to practice free love with super-intelligent—and super-hot—island babes. ( )
  DerekSwannson | Apr 14, 2009 |
Es mostren totes 5
Sense ressenyes | afegeix-hi una ressenya
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
Títol normalitzat
Títol original
Títols alternatius
Data original de publicació
Gent/Personatges
Llocs importants
Esdeveniments importants
Pel·lícules relacionades
Premis i honors
Epígraf
Dedicatòria
Primeres paraules
Citacions
Darreres paraules
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
Llengua original
CDD/SMD canònics
LCC canònic

Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès

Cap

In the list of modern science fiction personalities, the late British philosopher and novelist W. Olaf Stapledon is prominent. Last and First Men and Starmaker are generally considered to be the finest future histories ever written, the gage by which all earlier and later works are measured. Odd John and Sirius are no less accurate in dealing with the problem in another guise. The central question is: if and when a superior being is introduced into a culture, how will either survive? Stapledon's answers are by no means romantic fantasies; they are the pathetic, realistic conclusions which we, one day, may be forced to accept.Odd John is the definitive fictionalization of the mutated superman. After a strange birth and childhood, John is suddenly compelled to accept the fact that he is different. What is more, he has to decide what to do with his gifts. Sirius, although the logical successor to Odd John, deals with quite another being - an alien intelligence, artificially produced, a dog with superhuman mentality, who is not only superior to his own kind, but rejected by those with whom he has most in common. Stapledon uses his powers - intellectual, imaginative, and observant - to detail the conflict in its very ""human"" form.Odd John and Sirius are something else besides explorations of superbeings. Stapledon is capable of a great deal of humor and tongue-in-cheek description. If his writing, as he says in the subtitle to Odd John, is between jest and earnest, his sympathies are divided between the conflicting forces of man and superman. For those in literature, in psychology, in philosophy, or even in the world as it now exists, the detailed histories of these two strange beings will be ones to ponder. If anything, we have moved closer to the stage when conflict between superior and sapient man is imminent.

No s'han trobat descripcions de biblioteca.

Descripció del llibre
Sumari haiku

Cobertes populars

Dreceres

Valoració

Mitjana: (3.79)
0.5
1
1.5
2 6
2.5
3 10
3.5 2
4 24
4.5 1
5 11

Ets tu?

Fes-te Autor del LibraryThing.

 

Quant a | Contacte | LibraryThing.com | Privadesa/Condicions | Ajuda/PMF | Blog | Botiga | APIs | TinyCat | Biblioteques llegades | Crítics Matiners | Coneixement comú | 170,366,780 llibres! | Barra superior: Sempre visible