Anathem 4 csillagozás

Neal Stephenson: Anathem Neal Stephenson: Anathem Neal Stephenson: Anathem

Erasmas – Raz – is a young avout living in the Concent, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside world by ancient stone, honoured traditions and complex rituals. Three times during history's darkest epochs, the cloistered community has been devastated by violence. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe. Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite, the avout prepare to open the concent's gates. Before the week is out, both worlds – the inner and the outer – will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change. Suddenly Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world – as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet… and beyond.

Eredeti megjelenés éve: 2008

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HarperCollins, London, 2009
982 oldal · puhatáblás · ISBN: 9780061474101

Kedvencelte 2

Most olvassa 1

Várólistára tette 13

Kívánságlistára tette 2


Kiemelt értékelések

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Noro MP
Neal Stephenson: Anathem

Arbre világa lehetne akár a Föld is – néhány civilizációs összeomlással és újjáépítéssel öregebben –, egyetlen hatalmas különbséget leszámítva: az értelmiség itt hatalmas kolostorokban él, amelyek csak egy (vagy éppen tíz, száz, vagy ezer) évben egyszer nyitják meg kapuikat. Bent nincsenek modern gépek, amelyeken kipróbálhatnák legújabb elméleteiket, odakint pedig csupán az alkalmazott tudományokat gyakorolják, de nincs igazi fejlődés. Mindezt azért találták ki majd 3700 éve, mert akkor a tudományos kutatás és az infrastuktúra egymásra találása kis híján elpusztította az emberiséget. Most azonban olyan válság készülődik, amelyet a világi hatalom nem tud megoldani.
Az ezer oldalt megközelítő kötet telis-tele logikai, filozófia, matematikai és fizikai eszmefuttatatásokkal, de – bármennyire is meglepő – története is van, néhány nem akármilyen csavarral. (Mondjuk ez utóbbi az első kétszáz oldalon nem tűnne fel senkinek.) Hőseire ellemző, hogy egy halálos fenyegetést onnan kezdenek vizsgálni, hogy „definiáljuk, mit jelent az, hogy valami megtörténik” – majd mintegy nyolcvan oldal logikai és kvantumelméleti okfejtés után előállnak egy megoldással. Igen, a megfelelően ráhangolódott olvasó számára ennek a könyvnek humora is van. Egy-két esetben pedig majdnem olyan szemtelen, mint a Snow Crash maga: olyan pofonokat oszt ki mind az értelmiségi kultúrának, mind a fogyasztói társadalomnak, hogy csak utólag veszed észre, miről is ír ez a Neal fazon. Na meg ott vannak a nyelvi trükkjei, amiket ha valaki képes a maga rendszerében megőrizve lefordítani, azonnal saunttá avatom.
Ami viszont kétségkívül fárasztó – és szerintem nem csak potom száz oldal túlsúlyért felelős – az narrátorunk állandó kényszere, hogy minden helyszínt abszolúte részletesen leírjon, a kolostoroktól az űrhajókig. Ez volt az egyetlen, de annál nyomósabb oka, hogy olvasása közben legalább négy más könyvvel is végeztem.

2 hozzászólás
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Juci P
Neal Stephenson: Anathem

Milyen lehet Neal Stephensonnak lenni? Sőt, milyen lehet Neal Stephenson agyának lenni? Ez még csak a második könyv, amit olvastam tőle, de talán még lenyűgözőbb volt, mint a Cryptonomicon, illetve máshogy volt az. Az inkább történelmi-háborús regényként jellemezhető (bár körülbelül úgy dagad ki ebből a kategóriából, mint a tüdő a fazékból), ezt viszont inkább a SF- zsánerbe lehetne abszolút önkényesen belepasszírozni – de sokkal több, mint egy science fiction regény. (Meg is fogadtam, hogy most pár hétig nem olvasok semmit a műfajból, mert bármilyen remekmű is nehezen állná meg az összehasonlítást.)
A regény alapszituációja egy olyan világ, amelyben a tudományos élet nagyrészt afféle „kolostorok” (concentek) falai mögött zajlik, a falakon kívüli (extramuros) világ pedig meglehetősen hasonlít a mi világunkra – sok technológiával, olcsó szórakoztatással, versengő vallási csoportokkal stb. Az avoutok a falakon belül élik a tudománynak szentelt, szerzetesi egyszerűségű, de vallás nélküli életüket. Ez a rendszer már közel 4000 éve áll fenn és működik zökkenőmentesen, míg külső erők hatására inogni nem kezd nemcsak a világrend, hanem a bevett világkép is. És itt egy olyan kaland kezdődik, amelynek nemcsak a cselekménye nagyon izgalmas, hanem az eszmei, gondolati „rakománya” is. Stephenson ugyanis úgy szövi bele a történetbe a matematikáról, fizikáról, kozmológiáról, metafizikáról, vallásról és úgy általában az emberi tudatról és gondolkodásról szóló vitákat és eszmefuttatásokat, hogy azok sosem válnak öncélúvá vagy emészthetetlenné, hanem a cselekmény szerves részét képezik, a laikus számára is érthetőek és párbeszédként is élvezetesek, olvasmányosak, sőt szórakoztatóak. Igazi kaland volt olvasni, alig egy hét alatt befaltam az ezer oldalt… Nagyon ajánlom mindenkinek, aki szeret szórakozva tanulni a könyvekből.

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iquexy P
Neal Stephenson: Anathem

Ez egy nagyon érdekes világ ott, az Arbre-n, Stepehson pedig még annál is hosszabban írta le. A történet szempontjából harmad ennyi is elég lett volna, míg a világ és történelmének gazdagsága tripla ennyit is kibírt volna. Érdekes volt, mégis lassan haladtam vele, és a könyv (fizikai) mérete sem könnyítette meg a dolgomat. A tudományos és filozófiai fejtegetések helyenként ugyan gyenge lábakon állnak, de amíg a kvantumelmélet sokvilág-értelmezése nem újkeletű, a narratíva-értelmezés, amit Stephenson ötlött ki, kifejezetten érdekfeszítő eshetőség, főleg ha a rhetorok és incanterek képességeit is hozzávesszük.

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HarperCollins, London, 2009
982 oldal · puhatáblás · ISBN: 9780061474101

Népszerű idézetek

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Juci P

Bulshytt: (1) In Fluccish of the late Praxic Age and early Reconstitution, a derogatory term for false speech in general, esp. knowing and deliberate falsehood or obfuscation. (2) In Orth, a more technical and clinical term denoting speech (typically but not necessarily commercial or political) that employs euphemism, convenient vagueness, numbing repetition, and other such rhetorical subterfuges to create the impression that something has been said. (3) According to the Knights of Saunt Halikaarn, a radical order of the 2nd Millennium A.R., all speech and writings of the ancient Sphenics; the Mystagogues of the Old Mathic Age; Praxic Age commercial and political institutions; and, since the Reconstitution, anyone they deemed to have been infected by Procian thinking. Their frequent and loud use of this word to interrupt lectures, dialogs, private conversations, etc., exacerbated the divide between Procian and Halikaarnian orders that characterized the mathic world in the years leading up to the Third Sack. Shortly before the Third Sack, all of the Knights of Saunt Halikaarn were Thrown Back, so little more is known about them (their frequent appearance in Sæcular entertainments results from confusion between them and the Incanters).
Usage note: In the mathic world, if the word is suddenly shouted out in a chalk hall or refectory it brings to mind the events associated with sense (3) and is therefore to be avoided. Spoken in a moderate tone of voice, it takes on sense (2), which long ago lost any vulgar connotations it may once have had. In the Sæculum it is easily confused with sense (1) and deemed a vulgarity or even an obscenity. It is inherent in the mentality of extramuros bulshytt-talkers that they are more prone than anyone else to taking offense (or pretending to) when their bulshytt is pointed out to them. This places the mathic observer in a nearly impossible position. One is forced either to use this »offensive« word and be deemed a disagreeable person and as such excluded from polite discourse, or to say the same thing in a different way, which means becoming a purveyor of bulshytt oneself and thereby lending strength to what one is trying to attack. The latter quality probably explains the uncanny stability and resiliency of bulshytt. Resolving this dilemma is beyond the scope of this Dictionary and is probably best left to hierarchs who make it their business to interact with the Sæculum.
—THE DICTIONARY, 4th edition, A.R. 3000

140-141. oldal (Atlantic Books, London, 2009)

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petamas +P

    Since the sole purpose of the Book was to punish its readers, the less said of it the better. To study it, to copy it out, and to memorize it was an extraordinary form of penance.
    The concent, like any other human settlement, abounded in nasty or tedious chores such as weeding gardens, maintaining sewers, peeling potatoes, and slaughtering animals. In a perfect society we'd have taken turns. As it was, there were rules and codes of conduct that people broke from time to time, and the Warden Regulant saw to it that those people performed the most disagreeable jobs. It was not a bad system. When you were fixing a clogged latrine because you'd had too much to drink in the Refectory, you might not have such an enjoyable day, but the fact of the matter was that latrines were necessary; sometimes they clogged up; and some fraa or suur had to clean them out, as we couldn't very well call in an outside plumber. So there was at least some satisfaction in doing such penance, because there was a point in the work.
    There was no point at all to the Book, which is what made it an especially dreaded form of penance. It contained twelve chapters. Like the scale used to measure earthquakes, these got exponentially worse as they went on, so Chapter Six was ten times as bad as Chapter Five, and so on. Chapter One was just a taste, meted out to delinquent children, and usually completed in an hour or two. Two meant at least one overnight stay, though any self-respecting troublemaker could bang it out in a day. Five typically meant a stay of several weeks. Any sentence of Chapter Six or higher could be appealed to the Primate and then to the Inquisition. Chapter Twelve amounted to a sentence of life at hard labor in solitary confinement; only three avout had finished it in 3690 years, and all of them were profoundly insane.
    Beyond about Six, the punishment could span years. Many chose to leave the concent rather than endure it. Those who stuck it out were changed when they emerged: subdued, and notably diminished. Which might sound crazy, because there was nothing to it other than copying out the required chapters, memorizing them, and then answering questions about them before a panel of hierarchs. But the contents of the Book had been crafted and refined over many centuries to be nonsensical, maddening, and pointless: flagrantly at first, more subtly as the chapters progressed. It was a maze without an exit, an equation that after weeks of toil reduced to 2 = 3. Chapter One was a page of nursery-rhymes salted with nonsense-words that almost rhymed – but not quite. Chapter Four was five pages of the digits of pi. Beyond that, however, there was no further randomness in the Book, since it was easy to memorize truly random things once you taught yourself a few tricks – and everyone who'd made it through Chapter Four knew the tricks. Much harder to memorize and to answer questions about were writings that almost but did not quite make sense; that had internal logic, but only to a point. Such things cropped up naturally in the mathic world from time to time – after all, not everyone had what it took to be a Saunt. After their authors had been humiliated and Thrown Back, these writings would be gone over by the Inquisition, and, if they were found to be the right kind of awful, made even more so, and folded into later and more wicked editions of the Book. To complete your sentence and be granted permission to walk out of your cell, you had to master them just as thoroughly as, say, a student of quantum mechanics must know group theory. The punishment lay in knowing that you were putting all of that effort into letting a kind of intellectual poison infiltrate your brain to its very roots. It was more humiliating than you might imagine, and after I'd been toiling on Chapter Five for a couple of weeks I had no difficulty in seeing how one who completed a sentence of, say, Chapter Nine would emerge permanently damaged.

162. oldal

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Noro MP

“They think Bly was a Deolater?”
“Yes. Sort of a prophet, according to them, who found a proof of the existence of God and was Thrown Back because of it.”
“That’s funny because if anyone actually did prove the existence of God we’d just tell him ‘nice proof, Fraa Bly’ and start believing in God.”

Part 7: Feral

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Noro MP

What was the point of my having a truer explanation of these things if it could only be understood by avout who devoted their whole lives to theorics?

Part 9: Inbrase

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Noro MP

“What’s a light bubble?” Emman asked me quietly.
“A diagram that shows how information — cause-and-effect — moves across space and time.”
“Time, which doesn’t exist?” Emman said, repeating what had become a stock joke.
“Yeah. But it’s okay. Space doesn’t exist either.”

Part 10: Messal

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Noro MP

Lorite: A member of an Order founded by Saunt Lora, who believed that all of the ideas that the human mind was capable of coming up with, had already been come up with. Lorites are, therefore, historians of thought who assist other avout in their work by making them aware of others who have thought similar things in the past, and thereby preventing them from reinventing the wheel.
— The Dictionary, 4th edition, A.R. 3000

Part 10: Messal

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Noro MP

“Why did I study linguistics instead of celestial mechanics? Linguistics got me into this excellent mess— only physics can get me out.”

Part 11: Advent

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Juci P

»Do your neighbors burn one another alive?« was how Fraa Orolo began his conversation with Artisan Flec.
Embarrassment befell me. Embarrassment is something I can feel in my flesh, like a handful of sun-warmed mud clapped on my head.

(első mondat)

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Noro MP

„Orolo said that the more he knew of the complexity of the mind, and the cosmos with which it was inextricably and mysteriously bound up, the more inclined he was to see it as a kind of miracle— not in quite the same sense that our Deolaters use the term, for he considered it altogether natural. He meant rather that the evolution of our minds from bits of inanimate matter was more beautiful and more extraordinary than any of the miracles cataloged down through the ages by the religions of our world. And so he had an instinctive skepticism of any system of thought, religious or theorical, that pretended to encompass that miracle, and in so doing sought to draw limits around it.”

Part 13: Reconstitution

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Juci P

»This is just plain creepy,« I said.
»That’s the same word Lio used!« Rosk shouted back.
»Why do you guys all think it’s creepy?« Cord wanted to know.
»Please supply a definition of the oft-used Fluccish word creepy,« said Fraa Jad.
I tried to explain it to the Thousander, but primitive emotional states were not what Orth was good at.
»An intuition of the numenous,« Fraa Jad hazarded, »combined with a sense of dread.«
»Dread is a strong word, but you are close.«

361. oldal (Atlantic Books, London, 2009)


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