"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Happy Writer

Visionary Arthur C. Clarke, has died.

His Three Laws:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The limits of the possible can only be found by going beyond them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology may, at first, be indistinguishable from magic.

The Guardian has an excellent article about the man who gave us 2001: A Space Odyssey and 136 other books, and whose imagination sparked the imaginations of billions (and billions) of others, including Carl Sagan, who read Clarke's nonfiction book, Interplanetary Flight. Clarke was in turn inspired by Olaf Stapledon, whose novels Odd John and Sirius I happen to have sitting on my desk...along with a ton of other books in various stages of being read (some at the wishful thinking stage). Luckily it's a big desk, but this is as good an opportunity to mention Stapledon and the mutated superman/superdog novels. According to the Guardian, it was Last and First Men that inspired Clarke. One more for the to-read list.


Raspberry said...

I feel so sad that I haven't read anything by him yet, although a couple of his books are on my TBR list. It seems the world has lost another great literary influence.

Zen of Writing said...

He had a lot of influence while he was around, though. I remember reading Childhood's End when I was a kid.